West Indies celebrated their outstanding win in the Digicel One-Day International Series against New Zealand, and dedicated the victory to their many fans who have supported them through thick and thin.
Speaking after Monday’s brilliant 20-run win in the fifth and final Digicel ODI, captain Darren Sammy and star batsman Chris Gayle thanked the supporters.
Sammy noted: “We played some good cricket and you have to say we deserved to win this series. We started well and we finished well and everyone is on a high right now. We will celebrate and we will celebrate with our fans.
“Even when we were on the losing end we would still get fans coming up and offering their support, and it is this kind of support that continues to spur us on. We outplayed New Zealand and we won and it was great to see how many people came out, showed their appreciation and showed us love.”
Gayle continued his successful return to the international stage and was the leading batsman in the five-match series. He ended with 220 runs at an average of 55. His 125 in the second Digicel ODI was the highest individual score.
“I’m really happy...there is great happiness and joy in the dressing room and every man deserves credit for a very good job throughout the entire series. What is also good is to see the happiness throughout the Caribbean and among our fans all over the world who support us,” said the 32-year-old.
“When we won on Saturday we had young children and old people come up to us and congratulate us and you could see how much it meant to them. We came back and finished off the job in style. It was a great series. New Zealand kept fighting, they didn’t give up, so for us to push them back and come away with a 4-1 win showed that we are growing in strength.”
Both Sammy and Gayle were full of praise for spinner Sunil Narine who posed problems for the visitors throughout the series. The 24-year-old, who is in his first year on the international stage, was the highest wicket-taker with 13 wickets at an average of 11.23 and an economy rate of 2.92 runs per over. He collected the Digicel Man-of-the-Series award.
“He’s just world class and to have him in the team gives you more confidence, especially when you’re defending a total. You know what he’s capable of. Throughout this series he’s been a champion for us,” Sammy said.
Gayle added: “Narine was exceptional. He kept the pressure on them every time and his bowling made a lot of difference. Whenever we needed a wicket we could turn to him and he delivered for us in pressure situations.”