Sammy 1, Lara 0
Champions League T20 article.
Mohali, India - The match against Trinidad & Tobago was one contest that Darren Sammy “just couldn’t lose.”
And the Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounder had made that very clear on Twitter ahead of the game when he begged to differ with Brian Lara’s prediction of a T&T win.
When the T&T team consultant rooted for his team to get their second win in the tournament, Sammy replied, “not today skip they're playin my team @SunRisers it won't be 2in2”.
The legendary batsman took the banter forward by saying, “Fool yourself, skip!”
Thanks to an incredible innings by Thisara Perera, Sammy had the last laugh as SRH were able to script a come-from-behind win. With the match all but lost, Perera walked in to bat when his team needed 91 to win from 60 balls.
He blazed away 57 off 32 balls (four 4s; four 6s) and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. And thus Sammy won the bragging rights.
Sammy played his part too. Besides taking two for 21 with the ball, he played a fine strategist to his fellow bowlers, helping them plan against the T&T batsmen.
After the match, as Sammy chatted with clt20.com he just couldn’t stop smiling. With a beam stretching from ear to ear, Sammy gave a fine account of his team and their fighting spirit.
He also cashed in on the bragging rights he had just earned and said, “I hope Brian Lara tweets me saying, ‘Congratulations’!”
Here’s the delightful chat with the ever-smiling West Indian:
This was one match you didn’t want to lose, wasn’t it?
I just couldn’t lose it. It was against my guys from the Caribbean. They gave us a good challenge and we accepted it. But in the end, I think cricket was the winner. It was an exciting game for the fans.
This was only the third time that T&T posted a 150-plus total and lost a T20 match. That puts this win in perspective?
Yes, I think it was a match between two teams with a never-say-die attitude. They displayed that against us, but credit to Thisara Perera who played a blinder of an innings.
He was middling every ball and that’s what we needed. Everybody played their part but in the end he was, in true sense, the Man of the Match.
When Perera walked in to bat, did you all honestly believe that you could pull this off?
Come on! We’re talking about Sunrisers here – we never say never, we never give up and do not accept defeat until the last ball is bowled.
We knew we needed something extraordinary to win from that position, but with the talent that we have, we back ourselves to win from any situation.
We did that today and won with three balls to spare.
You had a little Twitter banter going on with Brian Lara. Happy to have the last laugh?
Yes, I can’t wait to tweet him back now. I told him that at the end of the day the better team will win, and the Sunrisers were the better team. I hope he tweets me ‘Congratulations’!
You were talking to Dale Steyn and telling him to bowl in a certain way. What was the advice?
What I noticed was when I hit the ball in the pitch it was difficult for the batsman to hit it big. I was just passing on that information to Dale.
But then I realised that he is a different bowler; he’s much quicker than me. So, I told him, let’s go with plan B, which is bowling yorkers. The last three balls he bowled were dots and these small things make a huge difference in T20s.
Did you have a role to play in Darren Bravo’s wicket in terms of advising Ishant Sharma?
Of course, we planned properly for him. At first we were looking to nick him off. But he came and played with a positive mindset. He was batting really freely and we again decided to go back to yorker-length balls.
It worked when Ishant got him with a full delivery and that was a very crucial breakthrough for us. But Darren is a great talent for us as West Indies and I hope he continues to score runs for us.
What about Shikhar Dhawan’s captaincy stands out for you?
Shikhar is a cool guy. Yes, he is the captain but if you come in our dressing room, you’ll see that everybody thinks like a captain. At the end of the day Shikhar will make the decisions, but he is never short of advice.
Because he is so cool and calm, he will most often make the right decisions for us. But there’s help always available around him, and he knows that.