‘Kept on winning games by not playing our best cricket‘ – Darren Sammy slams West Indies after loss vs Zimbabwe

West Indies suffered their maiden defeat in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers 2023 as they lost by 35 runs against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

West Indies won the toss and elected to field first. Zimbabwe managed to post a decent 268-run total, thanks to fine half-centuries from Sikandar Raza (68) and Ryan Burl (50).

Keemo Paul was the pick of the bowlers, bagging three wickets. In reply, the Shai Hope-led side came up with a disappointing performance, getting bundled out for 233.

Kyle Mayers and Roston Chase were the top performers with the bat for the side, scoring 56 and 44, respectively. Tendai Chatara picked up three wickets, while Sikandar Raza, Richard Ngarava, and Blessing Muzarabani took two wickets each.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, West Indies head coach Daren Sammy expressed his disappointment over the team’s performance against Zimbabwe.

He pointed out that dropped catches by his team ultimately proved very costly for them, stating:

“Extremely disappointed. At the toss, we got to do what we wanted to do, which is to bowl first,” Sammy said at his post-match press conference. “Look, if we continue to display this type of fielding – we’ve spoken about it for the last few games – and if you keep giving the opposition’s best batters chances, eventually the cricket gods will catch up with you.

“And it did with us today, but [a target of] 269 on that surface… Again, these are the things we’re trying to change. We’ve seen it happen in the past before and the direction that I want this team to move forward…Today was really poor and it’s about taking responsibility and we didn’t do that today. And hence we didn’t deserve to win at all today.”

“I wouldn’t say it hampers [our qualification] but it makes it more difficult,” Sammy said. “You’d love to go into the Super Six with four points. We knew from the time we left home that this game would’ve been very important to us. And again, like I said, the way we’ve played… I kept telling the guys that we kept on winning games [by] not playing our best cricket. Today again, we asked so much of ourselves. When you put on a display of fielding like this and then you get yourself in a good position and take the game for granted, the cricket gods will make you pay and that’s exactly what I’m going to tell them in the dressing room. We did not deserve to win, and we did not play to win today and now we have a lot of work to do – firstly to get to the Super Six and take on the other teams that we face.

“We’ve made our road to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 a bit more difficult, but I don’t give up on anything. I’ll keep encouraging the boys and challenging them to be better because the trend I’ve started here is going to be moving. And I tell them, who wants to get a ticket has to come and buy that ticket at the ticket office. At the moment, some of us are not buying that ticket for that train to move on.”

Daren Sammy: ‘No time to cry and think about loss to Zimbabwe too much’

So, how can West Indies move on from this chastening defeat and prepare for the vital clash against Netherlands, who have also made it to the Super Sixes, on Monday?

“Probably best to have the day off tomorrow, to be honest, to throw everything out and we need to get it out of our systems,” Hope said. “And then come hard again come Monday because we know we have our work cut out for ourselves now and know exactly what is required.”

Sammy also backed West Indies to get their mission back on track against Netherlands. “We have to be in that game as quickly as possible. I’m thinking about how I’m going to approach the guys in the dressing room,” he said. “But look, there’s no time to cry and think about it too much. We got to get our positive mindset and game face on and do it again on Monday.

“Monday becomes very important for us and we will look at the squad and combination and we will come up with the best one to go out and win the game. We will not take this [Zimbabwe] victory as the end of the road. I have a strong feeling that this West Indies team will bounce back. Sometimes, you just need a good wake-up call to make you understand and appreciate the opportunity we have here.”

Shai Hope and Co. will next be seen in action on Monday, June 26, when they take on the Netherlands at the Takashinga Sports Club in Harare.

The Caribbean side has already qualified for the next stage of the tournament. Hence, they still have a chance to redeem themselves.

1 thought on “‘Kept on winning games by not playing our best cricket‘ – Darren Sammy slams West Indies after loss vs Zimbabwe”

  1. Whilse all the looking back and talk, I have not heard any mention on the one reason that cost us the match. The drop catches cost us an additional 60-70 runs if not more. 7 down and in comes Kemo Paul. Lots of talk that he could bat, has a firstclass 100. Your team is in trouble, you are going to reverse sweep a ball that is crashing into the stumps? Brainless cricket. If he had gotten an unplayable delivery and got out so be it. Then he is a prime candidate for the no ball. Alwasys pushing the line. Not to metion the wides etc. Come guys you can do much better than that. If not we are finished.


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