Kingston, Jamaica: What a positive intent can do to a player's self confidence was on display between the match between West Indies and India in Jamaica on Sunday. Johnson Charles looked all at sea in the opening match of the series against Sri Lanka on Friday, scoring 29 off 58 balls with first eight having taken 42 balls. But a more positive intent on Sunday saw his luck change for the better.
The 230-run target set by India although was not daunting, and it required someone in the top order to play a big knock. And with West Indies losing three early wickets for just 26, Charles not only continued his attacking play but also kept his wicket intact. He displayed his attacking intent from the beginning, smashing Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three successive boundaries in the third over. As his innings progressed, his hunger for taking more risk also increased. After tonking Ravindra Jadeja for two sixes, he smacked Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin into the crowd. An innings of such grit deserved a hundred, but Charles fell three short of the mark but did enough to secure his side a thrilling win.
"I think that was a good innings. Previous match I struggled a bit. I came out with a bit more intent today. My job is to bat through the innings," Charles said after his innings of 97 which got him Man-of-the-Match award. The 116-run stand he added with Darren Bravo pulled West Indies out of the woods. "I enjoy batting with Darren Bravo. The wicket improved a bit in the second innings. It got flatter. The plan was to get to my three figures and take the side through," he added.
Kieron Pollard, who captained the side in the absence of Dwayne Bravo, complimented the way his side performed. But he too acknowledged that the game went too close to their comfort at the end. "We find ways to get into these kind of positions. Bowlers did really well in the first half. Credit to Charles for the way he played. At the end of the day, we got over the line. These sort of victories bring us together tighter," he said.
Pollard also said they were determined to get two wins out of two. "We wanted to go to Trinidad with two wins under our belt. We have a couple of days to think about our performance. Hopefully we can give a better show in the next games," he added.
Talking about injuries to Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Rampaul, Pollard said. "Bravo's was just a precautionary break as we have a long season ahead. Rampaul has a few more scans left and we shall know his status only after that."