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Monday, May 16, 2011

Darren Sammy: We needed this performance



Darren Sammy admits that the West Indies' Test victory over Pakistan was hugely needed, but said that his players always had belief despite the recent off-field sagas.

Public rows between senior players and the board and the absence of players such as Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo had affected the lead-up to the first Test, but Sammy's side overcame that as they registered their first Test win in more than two years.

It was also their first Test win in Guyana since 1998, with Sammy playing a key role as he took seven wickets to be named man of the match.


"This is what West Indies cricket is about," Sammy said afterwards. "We as a team needed this performance. Lately, things hadn't been going well but I had the belief, this team had the belief."

While Sammy's five-wicket haul in the second innings was crucial in securing victory for his side - and also for justifying his place in the team - the other major contributor on the final day was Ravi Rampaul.

The fast bowler had taken just four wickets in his only five Tests prior to this match, but claimed four vital wickets in the Pakistan second innings to add to his three-for in the first innings.

"Rampaul looks fit, and has worked really hard with Ottis Gibson. It was a tough decision to pick between him and Fidel Edwards," Sammy admitted.

Defeat was a bitter blow for Pakistan, who were hoping to record their first ever Test series victory in the Caribbean but can only hope to share the spoils now.

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq had to admit that they'd been beaten by the better side after Pakistan fell 40 runs short of their target of 219, having been 80 for three overnight.

There was praise for Saeed Ajmal, who took his maiden ten-wicket haul, but ultimately the fact that the West Indies' tenth wicket contributed 76 runs over two innings proved the difference.

"To lose this Test is disappointing, they played better cricket and bowled disciplined lines," said Misbah.

"We dropped so many catches and gave away so many runs to the lower order. We were a little disappointing from the batting point of view also.

"We fought well yesterday  to recover after losing early wickets, but most of our guys got out to good balls."

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