Captain Darren Sammy led the West Indies team’s celebrations as they enjoyed the success against New Zealand in the just-concluded Digicel Series. The Windies won 2-0 in the Digicel T20 Series, 4-1 in the Digicel One-Day International Series and 2-0 in the Digicel Test Series to showcase their dominance over the visitors. “All three wins felt great! We flew straight from England and we said before we started that we wanted to win everything. We went to Florida and dominated the T20s, we came home and outplayed them in the ODIs, and now we have rounded it off with two fantastic performances in the Test series,” Sammy said.
The Digicel Test Series ended on Sunday when the West Indies easily reached the target of 206 runs to earn a superb come-from-behind win by five wickets in second Digicel Test at Sabina Park, Jamaica. Marlon Samuels won the Digicel Man-of-the-Match award for his career-best 123 in the first innings and mature 52 in the second innings run chase in front of his home crowd. Last week the West Indies were equally dominant with an emphatic nine-wicket win in the first Digicel Test at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua. Kemar Roach took seven wickets in that match and followed up with five wickets in Jamaica to win the Digicel Man-of-the-Series award.
“As captain you feel good when the team plays so well and you win. I couldn’t have asked for more. The support was great from everyone – those who took the field and those in the dressing room who gave tremendous support behind the scenes,” said the smiling Sammy. “The way Marlon held the innings together in both innings was great to see. That spell from Narsingh Deonarine with his wickets in this match was fantastic. We had a brilliant double-century opening partnership from Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell to set us up nicely in the first Test. The performances are coming from different players at different times and that’s the hallmark of a good team.”
Sammy added: “We bowled them out every time. The efforts of Tino Best, Kemar Roach, Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul in Antigua were all outstanding. Last year or two has been tough for us, we are going to celebrate this, but it is about continuous hard work.”
The 2-0 Test series win was the West Indies’ first series victory since they beat Bangladesh 1-0 away from home last October. The last home series win was against England in 2009 when Chris Gayle’s team won 1-0 to take the prestigious Wisden Trophy. The last time the West Indies won back-to-back Test matches was in Bangladesh a decade ago, under the captaincy of Ridley Jacobs. The last series win over New Zealand was at home back in 1996 with Courtney Walsh at the helm.
“It has been a hard year but this home series the way we went about it was a professional effort from everybody. Guys are more aware of what is required to win. We are giving more thought to the way we play and sticking to the team plans,” Sammy said.
“We have been working really hard throughout the year and we reaped the rewards of that hard work. New Zealand were quite tough. In all the games they had their chances, but we capitalised on the key moments in most of the games … In this series we got runs. We have three hundreds and a couple of 50s and that made a lot of difference. I am proud of everyone in the team. We will have a break now and come back refreshed for the next big assignment.” Sammy added: “We must also say thanks to all those fans who supported us everywhere we went. We saw some good crowds in this series and even in the streets, in the hotels, in the airports, on planes people have expressed their delight and it is really good to see smiling faces of Caribbean people.”
West Indian Press release