I rode my luck: Simmons

02-04-2016
DH

The West Indies’ clarion call to Lendl Simmons produced the desired result for the Caribbean team. The batsman’s unbeaten 82 helped the maroon brigade beat India in the semifinal here on Thursday and keep their final date with England.

The Trinidadian was perhaps destined to do this job. Originally drafted in West Indies’ 15-member squad, the right-hander withdrew after a back problem. Even as he recovered from his injury, Windies lost Andre Fletcher to hamstring problem and Simmons was flown in to Mumbai just two days before their semifinal against India. His stroke of luck extended even during his batting, escaped as he did on 18 and 50 when he was out off no-balls.

“Yeah, today was my day,” said Simmons in his post-match comments. “Every cricketer has his day and today was my day. I had a bit of luck on my side and I rode my luck and things went the way I wanted it.”

Simmons was to fly out of Port of Spain on Friday to join Mumbai Indians to prepare for the Indian Premier League but the call came early.

“I got the news (to join the team) after the Afghanistan game,” Simmons said. “And the chairman (of WICB) called me to ask if I was fit to go and play. I said ‘yes, I was fit.’ I was coming here; I was to leave on Friday to come to Mumbai to get ready for the IPL. I saw it as an opportunity to come and get ready for the IPL as well. Seeing this is my “home ground” as well I know the conditions, I think I read it well,” he remarked.

It’s not easy to recover from jet lag after taking two flights and coming from a region with a time difference of almost 10 hours.

“I rested well for this game,” he said of his preparation. “I slept on both flights. I came here and I slept the whole night (of Monday). In the morning (Tuesday), I had a practice. After that I slept from 3.10 pm, slept again from 12.00 noon to 4pm (the next day). So I was very rested.”

Though West Indies appeared to be cruising to victory, Simmons said they never felt in control of the chase.

“At no point I thought that we had it under control because when a wicket falls you never know,” he offered. “… But the bowling was suspect. They had (Ahish) Nehra and (Jasprit) Bumrah, two fast bowlers, but not express pace. Every one of our players is a match-winner in our team: (Darren) Sammy to bat, (Dwayne) Bravo to bat… (Andre) Russell came in and he played his part, (Denesh) Ramdin still to bat… We have a lot of batting power and any total anyone makes we can chase it. We always back ourselves to chase totals.”

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