Russell on a high as Windies overcome Pakistan
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – Allrounder Andre Russell scored 42 not out off just 13 balls and then took three wickets to pilot West Indies to a superb victory by 150 runs over Pakistan on Saturday. Russell's heroics sparked a comeback as West Indies rebounded from their opening defeat against Ireland. He hit three fours and four massive sixes in a memorable display of power-hitting. West Indies made 310-6 off 50 overs and bowled out Pakistan for 160. The Windies hammered 115 runs in the last 10 overs and carried over the momentum to reduce Pakistan to one run for four wickets when they bowled.
Russell spoke to reporters after the Saturday's Man of the Match award winning performance. Please see quotes below:
On the win and the mood in the dressing room
"It's very good in the dressing room. We needed this win after that defeat against Ireland. Everyone is laughing and we're happy with the way we performed. It's just always a fun dressing room, and I think from the last game things didn't go well for us, and we just turned up today and wanted to show the world that we are not just a pushover. We are always a good team and we can fight. It happened today, so it was a very good performance".
On his Man-of the-Match performance
"It is very big to contribute to the team and win the Man-of-the-Match award, but at the end of the day, the other contributions from the other guys. We didn't get the start that we wanted, but the guys in the middle, they kept it together and they set the innings perfectly for me to come and do my thing. It just goes to show that we're a good team and playing as a team you're always going to get the job done once everyone contributes".
On the team's bowling effort
"I think as any bowling team whether you make 150 or you make over 300 runs. That was the perfect start any team would want. That start just put us on the front foot even though we had that confidence that we had over 300 runs on the board. But in One-Day cricket you can't take anything for granted. The Pakistan line-up is a very long one. They have a very good batting unit. So I think putting them on the back foot from the Jerome got those wickets and then Jason got the third one early up as well. I think that really kind of cramped them. We didn't really let loose. We kept it tight and kept building pressure".
On the efforts of senior players on and off the field
"From the warm-up games Chris has been struggling and we're still scoring 300 runs and he's not giving us those big performances, even Marlon Samuels who is one of our main batters as well. So, I just think when these guys peak at the right time, West Indies has the ability to score over 350. They have been good in the dressing room... the way they keep motivating the team and the team spirit is very good. Chris is not moody. Chris is just an amazing guy that you share the changing room with. Even now he's not scoring and he's not miserable, he's not grumpy. He's happy, he's laughing, and he's cheering everyone on the field, and that's what we want from a big guy like him, so it's very good".
FULL SQUAD (with shirt numbers)
98 – Jason Holder (Captain)
7 – Marlon Samuels (Vice Captain)
62 – Sulieman Benn
46 – Darren Bravo
78 – Jonathan Carter
19 – Sheldon Cottrell
45 – Chris Gayle
33 – Nikita Miller
80 – Denesh Ramdin
24 - Kemar Roach
12 – Andre Russell
88 – Darren Sammy
54 – Lendl Simmons
50 – Dwayne Smith
75 – Jerome Taylor
SCHEDULE OF MATCHES
Monday, Feb 16: Ireland beat West Indies by 4 wickets – Saxton Oval, Nelson
Saturday, Feb 21: West Indies beat Pakistan by 150 runs – Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Tuesday, Feb 24: vs Zimbabwe – Munaka Oval, Canberra (day/night)
Friday, Feb 27: vs South Africa – SCG, Sydney (day/night)
Friday, Mar 6: vs India – WACA Ground, Perth (day/night)
Sunday, Mar 15: vs United Arab Emirates – McLean Park, Napier