Narine, West Indies Boosted By Warm-Up Victory
West Indies spinner Sunil Narine has recently become the number one-ranked One-Day International bowler according to the ICC rankings and he showed exactly why when taking two for 26 during his side's 17-run win over Sri Lanka in their final warm-up game ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
It was a confidence boost for the 2004 champions after they had been well beaten at the weekend by Australia and has given Narine a lift ahead of their opening game against Pakistan on Friday.
"Being able to have a good performance in this game has given me the confidence going into the first game on Friday," he confirmed.
"Hopefully I can continue with this good form I am having. Today I tried to assess the pitch as soon as possible and once I realised it was giving me assistance, I decided to make the most of it. I tried my variations and I tried to go at them as hard as I could."
Narine's control allowed captain Dwayne Bravo to trust him in the closing overs of the match when Sri Lanka were launching a late charge for victory, and he delivered by keeping the runs tight, having earlier dismissed Lahiru Thirimanne and Angelo Mathews.
"I think (Dwayne) Bravo did a good job of captaining the team - he knew when to attack and when to hold back. It was a good learning experience for both of us. Bravo wanted me to keep it tight at the end in my final two overs and when I came back at the end I just looked to do that. I just tried to be patient.
"It feels much better for me this year than when I was here last year. I am getting some purchase off the wicket and I’m hoping to help the West Indies to some more victories in this tournament. The wickets last year didn’t offer much turn but this year I am getting a bit more turn, they suit me a bit more and I’m trying to make the most of it," he added.
Narine's breakthrough into international cricket has seen him take 47 wickets in 28 matches at an average of 21.68 and an economy rate of 3.87, but he doesn't want to dwell on his personal success.
"Whatever success you get you just look to enjoy it. I never set out to be Number 1 in the rankings, but I will look to maintain my position and do well for the team all the time," he added.
© Cricket World 2013
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CT 2013 Fixtures
Champions Trophy History
1998: South Africa
2000: New Zealand
2002: India/Sri Lanka
2004: West Indies