After an extraordinary World T20 final, Marlon Samuels was named Man of the Match for the second time in four years after his unbeaten 85 off 66 balls kept West Indies in their chase after a poor start and gave Carlos Brathwaite the chance for his astonishing finish.
As the emotions flowed for West Indies, Samuels made reference to recent comments from Shane Warne in the commentary box – the pair had an infamous run-in during the Big Bash in 2013 – and always had confidence in himself to produce another key performance in a final.
“I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind. Shane Warne has been talking continuously and all I want to say ‘this is for Shane Warne’. I answer with the bat, not the mic.
“In the practice against Australia I sat in the same seat and made a first-ball duck, so I said I’d go back in the same seat I’d do something special. I don’t worry about semi-finals because when it comes to finals I always turn up and do well for the team. I grew up watching England cricket so all respect to the England players, we are champions again and want to continue to move from strength-to-strength. This is a win for the Caribbean. It means a lot. I didn’t have much to say to Carlos, but told him to swing hard.”
Brathwaite himself was keen to heap praise on Samuels’ innings.
“It’s us against the world and someone needed to take responsibility. And today Marlon Samuels after a slow start took responsibility and played a fantastic knock. That was amazing man, I wish I could use some expletives on TV to really express how much of a top knock that was. He did it in 2010, and I knew if Samuels was there in the end, he’ll bring us home in 2016 … it was a matter of when and not if.”
Curtly Ambrose, West Indies’ bowling coach, said the team always had the belief that as long as the target was mathematically possible they could chase it.
“We are that kind of team, we believe that we can chase down any target because we got some real firepower and it showed throughout this tournament. We have the self-belief, that it doesn’t matter how many we have to chase, I mean if it 40 it is out of the question, but anything under 30, we believe we can always get it. We wanted to create history, we won the Under-19, the ladies won theirs and now this. We created history and we’re really enjoying it. Yes, yes I have sympathy for the bowlers these days, but on this occasion, no!” (Courtesy Cricinfo)