CRICKET ENTERTAINERS

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy gestures wearing a traditional turban at Gaddafi stadium in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, March 5, 2017. Sammy led Peshawar Zalmi to the Pakistan Super League Twenty20 title with a 58-run victory against Quetta Gladiators in a trouble-free final on Sunday.
Associated Press / K.M. Chaudary, File

The West Indies players in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) love to entertain first — not only through their exploits on the field but by the way they approach the game, according to reports.

“They enjoy every moment, be it a win or loss and make sure never to brood over a mistake and thus stop enjoying a contest,” reported Gulf News on Monday.

It said Peshawar Zalmi’s captain Darren Sammy, a former West Indies captain, and top order batsman Barbadian Dwayne Smith were two such examples on Sunday night.

Smith cracked an unbeaten 71 and was responsible for Peshawar being able to post 131 for nine against Karachi Kings in the second match at the Dubai International Stadium.

Peshawar lost the match by five wickets in the last over only despite defending a small total. It was their second defeat in the league, though they are the defending champions, Gulf News said.

“Proud of the guys to take the match to the last few balls,” Sammy said in a post-match interview. Credit to Dwayne (Smith), he gave us a game to play.”

Despite Peshawar ending as losers, Smith was rightly judged as the Man of the Match.

“I have played over 300 Twenty20 matches, and I just need to use my experience and do what I have to do at that stage of the game,” Smith said. “And so, I don’t really need any help. We had to get to a good score for us to bowl at so I had to take chances and try and get as many runs as I could.”

West Indies’ Dwayne Smith bats during a Twenty20 cricket match against New Zealand, Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Lauderhill, Fla.
Associated Press / Lynne Sladky, File

Smith was responsible for running out two batsmen, including his skipper Sammy during the course of his innings, Gulf News noted.

When asked whether those run-outs were the reason for the defeat, he said: “I don’t really think so, we probably lost wickets at crucial times. We had some soft dismissals, and we had some run outs, which were very important. For me, it is gone and forgotten, and we cannot bring it back now.”

He also appealed his teammates to shrug off the defeat.

“We need to be positive and not get this game into our heads but throw it out,” Smith said. “We need to take the positive way and bounce back and get into the play offstage. We bowled really well, so we can get back.

“The guys have not given up and we are going to fight till the end,” he added.

Smith then picked young 19-year-old teammate Ibtisam Shaikh for special praise, as the latter bowled brilliantly and took a spectacular diving catch, according to Gulf News.

“We have a youngster in the team, and he is doing very well,” Smith said. “It seems like he has played nearly 300 games, too. He is so aggressive and confident in what he has to do.”

Former West Indies’ all-rounder Darren Sammy bowls during a practice at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
Associated Press / Lynne Sladky, file

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