Smith: I had a job to do!
DHAKA, Bangladesh – Dwayne Smith scored a career-best T20 International half-century as he piloted West Indies to a massive victory over Bangladesh in their second match of the ICC World T20 Tournament.
The defending champions needed a win after Sunday night's defeat against India, and Smith responded with a blazing 72 to set-up a stiff target of 171-7 off 20 overs. He hit 10 fours and three sixes in an opening stand of 97 with Chris Gayle, who made a run-a-ball 48.
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree then turned in a career-best performance to end to end with figures of 4-0-15-4. He got excellent support from new ball partner Krishmar Santokie, who had figures of 4-0-17-3 as Bangladesh were bowled out for 98 off 19.1 overs.
"It was a much drier pitch to the one we had against India on Sunday and a few ball kept a bit low. But I had a job to do and that is what I set out to do. I decided to stay positive and things worked out. It was great to get off to a winning start in the tournament," Smith told reporters.
"I will go back to the first game when we lost. After that game and the speeches that we had after, I was surprised because normally, we would probably drop our heads but everyone still had their heads up, and I was glad to see that. We were still confident and this win will make us even more confident now. I am sure we will get back on track and back to winning ways again."
Smith secured the Man-of-the-Match award for his match-winning innings. He noted that after the opening defeat he went back to the drawing board and had an intense training session on Monday.
"The Indians bowled a lot better, they hit the ball in the areas and they got the ball to swing a lot more as well. I went back into the nets and I worked myself very hard. I said to the coaches, especially the batting coach Stuart Williams, that I have to get off to a start. As long as I get a good start, I am sure that I can do well," the 30-year-old said.
Smith said the West Indies remain real contenders to retain the trophy they won in Sri Lanka two years ago and also backed his opening partner Chris Gayle to deliver something big.
"I am sure that Chris will get the runs at some point of time in this tournament because he has been batting through the first six, he has been batting to ten overs. I am sure that at some point, he is going to get off to a good start.
"My aim is to get off to a good start and that's how I play. It's just for me to keep scoring and if Chris is working himself in, at least there won't be any pressure on him if I am scoring freely," Smith noted.
"I just try my best to get West Indies off to good starts and get them into good positions. I am not worried about outscoring Chris, I am just there to get partnerships and get West Indies into good positions. You just have to stay positive and make sure you do better than the other team."
West Indies will next play against Australia on Friday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. First ball is 3:30 pm (5:30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4:30 am Jamaica Time).