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Some great cricket and a slice of luck

We’re just a couple of days out from our ICC Champions Trophy semifinal against England.

The tied game against the West Indies was the one that saw us through, and I thought it was a game where we played some great cricket.

We may have been a little lucky with our opponents losing a wicket on what proved to be the last ball of the game, but we batted fantastically and I also think the bowlers were excellent. They had to contend with Chris Gayle going nicely and Marlon Samuels coming in and making a big difference, so hats off to the bowlers.

All of that was against a fantastic team and it was a big confidence boost for us. I don’t think people realise just how dangerous the West Indies team is, and I think they had some of the most destructive batsmen in the tournament.

The likes of Gayle, Samuels and Kieron Pollard are all top class players. In fact, I thought the West Indies and India were the favourites going into the tournament, so to get past them – even though it was only a tie – was a great effort.

It was also nice to be on the right side of the rain for a change, and a lot has already been written about that.

You may be interested to know what goes on, on the field, when you’re involved in a tight game where the weather is a factor and the Duckworth-Lewis (DL) method method comes into play.

We had our eyes on the DL score all the time. In fact, I acted as AB’s eyes on the DL target, as he had his hands full with a lot of other things, such as bowling changes, field placings etc. So, I kept him up to date and gave him my opinion.

As the T20 captain, I’m part of the senior group in the one-day international side, which also consists of Dale and Hashim, who have so much to offer with their experience. Likewise, in the T20 side, I’ll consult AB and get his thoughts when I’m in charge as captain.

There was actually a time, before we went off, where we were ahead on the DL method and I said to AB that it was a good time to get off the field.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and then the West Indies got ahead, so it was a big relief to get Pollard’s wicket, just before leaving the field. That was ultimately the difference. I suppose you can say we were a bit lucky, but it also wasn’t great batting by the West Indies.

We didn’t socialise with the West Indies after the game, but we made sure we went out, relaxed, had a couple of drinks and enjoyed each other’s company. It was nice to take our minds off the cricket, because it was a stressful few days.

Dwayne Bravo’s comments before the game didn’t go unnoticed. You may have seen him refer to us as ‘chokers’ in the media, and that really fired the guys up. In fact, they were quite upset and wanted to show Dwayne a thing or two.

But, what I was really impressed about was the way the guys channelled that into a great performance. We didn’t get sucked into his comments – we just went about our business and set out to do well. I think it’s easy to fall into that trap of talking too much.

I did have a laugh, though, after the game, seeing some of the funny comments directed at Dwayne on Twitter. It was nice to see the support behind us, which was great, particularly as underdogs going into this tournament.

The day after the game, we travelled to London and had a few good sessions at a local college. Off the field, a few of us went to the Hillsong Church on Sunday, which was great, before a large group got on a train to Twickenham to attend the Rihanna concert, which was a top night out, particularly with David Guetta as the opening act.

The only issue was AB leaving his cellphone in a cab. Fortunately, we used the iPhone app to track it, and with the help of our security manager and a bit of time, we managed to locate the cab some time after the concert. Thank goodness for advanced technology!

I’ll touch base soon.

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