DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC- Opening batsman Dwayne Smith is backing Chris Gayle to explode as West Indies continue their campaign to defend their title in a tough group of the World T20 tournament.
Smith, speaking after West Indies 73 run victory over Bangladesh yesterday, said he is encouraged that his opening partner has been batting through half of the innings thus far.
Gayle, known for his big hitting, has been uncharacteristically conservative in his two innings scoring 34 in West Indies losing effort against India Sunday and 48 against Bangladesh.
“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,” said Smith.
“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 scored a career-best T20 International half-century as he piloted West Indies to a massive victory over Bangladesh in their second match.
The defending champions needed a win after Sunday night’s defeat against India, and Smith responded with a blazing 72, hitting 10 fours and three sixes in an opening stand of 97 with Chris Gayle.
“I just try my best to get West Indies off to good starts and get them into good positions,” Smith explained.
“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.”
Leg-spinner Samuel Badree turned in a career-best performance to end with figures of 4-0-15-4 and 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 balls kept a bit low.
But I had a job to do and that is what I set out to do,” said Smith who was named man-of-the-match.
“I decided to stay positive and things worked out. It was great to get off to a winning start in the tournament”.
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).