Chris Gayle hopes to keep the momentum going for West Indies

Chris Gayle hopes to keep the momentum going for West Indies
Chris Gayle scored the only century in the tournament until now.
©REUTERS / Action Images

West Indies swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle stated that he will be looking forward to play more match-winning knocks in order to keep his team’s momentum going in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.

Gayle lit up the tournament with a fantastic hundred in the game against England as he smashed five boundaries and as many as eleven sixes in his knock.

However, in the second game, Gayle did not get a chance to bat in the second innings as he was out of the field for a lengthy period due to a hamstring injury.

In the absence of Gayle, Andre Fletcher rose to the occasion as he struck a 64-ball 84 which was studded with six fours and five sixes.

Happy that West Indies are off to a superlative start in the ICC World T20, Gayle is confident in his team’s ability to face and succeed against any bowling attack.

“The first game is always important for both teams,” said Gayle.

“You want to get off to a winning start and I am happy that I am on the winning side.

“The team got the start they wanted and that gave us some momentum, leading up to the second game against Sri Lanka as well.

“Hopefully I can follow up with more match-winning innings like this.

“But even if that doesn’t happen, there are a lot of guys, who are match-winners themselves, who can do the same thing and destroy bowling attacks from around the world.”

Gayle initially started off slowly in his knock against England as Marlon Samuels took most of the strike in the powerplay phase.

However, once Gayle came to the front after Samuels’ dismissal, he spared no bowler and took a special liking to the spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

The Jamaican left-handed batsman also added that once he got off to a good start in the innings, he wanted to make it count by getting to the three-figure mark.

“I think I got some momentum when I took on Moeen Ali, when I got three consecutive sixes.

“The momentum actually built from there and then we will always have a go against the rest of the bowlers who come to bowl at the back-end.

“The opportunity presented itself and I have done the hard work, so I said, ‘Listen mate, I have done the hard work already, so just get the hundred and that’s it.’“

The 36-year-old also praised Fletcher for his knock against Sri Lanka and has advised him to make a habit of finishing games for his team.

“He should continue to be aggressive in the first six (overs) since it is very, very important to try and capitalise with the new ball.

“He must keep the aggression going and once he goes past the first six, he should take it as deep as possible; pick up the odd boundaries in between in the middle overs as well and just build on whatever start he gets.

“He is very dangerous and capable of getting big scores as well.

“Hopefully he can just build on this, carry on and don’t leave it for anybody (to finish the match) and get a few more Man of the Match awards.”

West Indies will now play the remaining two games of their Super 10 stage in Nagpur, a pitch that has supported spinners right through the tournament.

For their upcoming contest against South Africa, Gayle wants his team to adapt to the conditions in Nagpur quickly and work out a strategy to defeat the Proteas.

“The conditions keep changing.

“So we, as a team, hopefully can adapt to conditions as quickly as possible and be ready for the occasion at all times.

“Overall, it has been a fantastic start so far; two from two, cannot ask for better.

“Hope to keep the momentum going.

“South Africa will be a tough task coming up as well.

“We just have to work within our strategy and try and overcome South Africa.”

With two wins from two games, West Indies are currently leading the points table of Group 1 in the Super 10 stage and have a superior net run rate of +0.893.

© Cricket World 2016