"Plan was to bat til end of innings"
Colombo, Sri Lanka - Chris Gayle’s primary job as an opener is to go on an all-out attack and give West Indies a flying start but the Jamaican said he enjoyed sharing the strike and batting till the end in Friday’s ICC World T20 semi-final against Australia.
Opening the innings, Gayle faced only 41 balls to remain unbeaten on 75 but West Indies still posted 205 for four - highest score of the tournament - as Marlon Samuels (26), Dwayne Bravo (37) and Kieron Pollard (38) destroyed the Australian attack.
“It was a slow track. So to be there to the end was helpful, so the rest of the guys can come and play around me,” Gayle told reporters. “It was a slow start. I didn’t get the actual strike, which was needed actually in the first six overs.
"But more important for me was not to panic and lose focus,” said Gayle who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his entertaining knock that included six sixes. “They had a plan, the more I will be off strike, bit of better for them. More so they loved to get me out as quickly as possible.
“Marlon Samuels came and played a few boundaries, and then took off pressure from me. That partnership with Bravo really helped a lot and (the one with) Pollard...”
Pollard provided the late charge by hitting three successive sixes in the final over of the innings before being dismissed for a 38 off just 15 balls. Gayle said to get the best out of Pollard, all he needed was to remind the all-rounder of his 18-ball 54 against New South Wales in the 2009 Champions League Twenty20.
“What I said to him when he came in... for today I need old Pollard back. He came in and did play up his part,” Gayle said.
“Hopefully he can give us that boost again and take us to the trophy,” said Gayle, who broke into "Gangnam Style" dance on Friday, imitating the moves from South Korean singer PSY’s music video.
“It depends on what type of mood I am in... It’s a good, dance I enjoy it and everybody enjoys it,” he added.