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Gayle's pep talk lifted us - Sammy

Published:Saturday | March 5, 2011 | 12:00 AM
West Indies' Chris Gayle plays a shot during their ICC Cricket World Cup Group B match at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday.

MIRPUR, Bangladesh (CMC):

Darren Sammy hailed Chris Gayle's stern pep talk before taking the field for putting West Indies in the right frame of mind ahead of their pivotal World Cup Group B match against Bangladesh yesterday.

Sammy, the West Indies captain, disclosed that his predecessor Gayle assertively reminded the team about the critical nature of the match before they took the field.

"I want to personally thank Chris because he was not feeling well, but the effort that he came out and showed (tells) how committed he is to the cause of us in this World Cup," said Sammy.

"He gave us a little motivational speech before the game and he is that kind of inspirational player for us. I want to thank him for motivating the boys to go out there and do the job we did."

Sammy said: "He told us not to take Bangladesh lightly. We were a little flat in the warm-ups before the game and he did not like it.

"He encouraged us to go out there and remember that Bangladesh was going to be coming hard at us and we needed to be ready. We took it to heart and we went out there and did all that he asked."

Sammy also praised the sharp fielding of his side and felt that West Indies were inching their way into a place into the next round.

"We went out there knowing how crucial this game was for us and knew that we could not slip," he said.

"We have been doing some good fielding drills with our coach Ottis Gibson and his assistant David Williams and so it was about going out there and putting what we have been practising into play (in a match situation)."

He said: "We have always fancied ourselves, but it has always been up to us to go out and play competitively. We need to play consistently well every day, so we have Ireland next and we will focus on them - and then take it one game at a time."

Patchy form

Sammy admitted that it was nice to play a small role in his side's victory, considering his own recent patchy form.

He collected three wickets for 21 runs from seven overs, but Benn was the most successful of the three West Indies bowlers with four for 18 runs from 5.5 overs, and Roach with three for 19 from six overs earned the Man-of-the-Match award for the second straight match.

"I know my own personal form has not been the best," said Sammy. "But it was good for me to be in the midst of the performances and hopefully this can continue, and I can help our team advance to the next stage of the tournament."