GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC — Hero of the opening One-Day Inter-national, Jason Mohammed, said leading to West Indies to victory here Friday was the best moment of his career so far.
The 30-year-old, in only his sixth ODI, blasted a scintillating unbeaten 91 to help West Indies pull off a record run chase of 309 and beat Pakistan by four wickets with an over to spare at the Guyana National Stadium.
“That’s the best feeling I’ve ever had in international cricket,” the Trinidadian said afterwards.
“Although I got 90-odd today, getting the winning runs was the best feeling I’ve ever had in international cricket. I just pray to God that my team can keep this belief and let’s have a couple more feelings like this.”
Chasing Pakistan’s imposing 308 for five, West Indies found themselves struggling to keep up with the required run rate at 158 for four in the 34th over.
However, Mohammed arrived to play a blinder, smashing the second fastest-ever half-century by a West Indian against Pakistan, to fire his side to victory.
All told, he faced a mere 58 deliveries and struck 11 fours and three sixes.
“Coming into bat, we were under a little bit of pressure in terms of the strike rate and stuff,” he explained.
“But I knew that as long as I played myself in, rotated the strike and gained momentum and try and take it down to the end as much as possible then we could see what could happen in the end, and that’s exactly what we did as a team.”
He added: “I always tend to start off a little bit slowly. I’m a momentum player and I know so long as I get my game right, it’s going to come off. I try and work the ball around at the start and of course I can try and power the ball once I get in so that was my plan to today and everything worked out excellently.”
Mohammed’s superb innings followed on the backs of two half-centuries in the three-match ODI series against England last month, as well as a good run of form in the Regional Super50.
He said his game had come together well over the last year as he had matured as a player.
“Starting from CPL last year with Guyana Amazon Warriors, my whole game and everything has changed a lot,” he noted.
“I’ve really gained a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum. I went on the [A-team tour] and did very well as well. Just knowing my game a little better in terms of maturing and knowing certain things and how to play certain situations have brought me a long way.”
Mohammed was well supported in the run chase by left-hander Kieran Powell who stroked 61 and opener Evin Lewis who gathered 47 — two knocks he said had been invaluable.
He also praised tail-ender Ashley Nurse who blasted a 15-ball unbeaten 34 at the death.
“We knew as long as we kept a positive mind set and have a good start, we were guaranteed to chase down the runs,” he pointed out.
“Well played to Evin and to Powell who set it up really and I think Ashley played a really special little innings in the end to help us take it home.”