Gayle pleased with players in Afghanistan win
West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle said he is pleased with the overall performance of the regional team, who defeated Afghanistan by eight wickets on Monday, ahead of their opening game of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament, in Sri Lanka, this weekend.
Gayle struck a boundary-filled 65, and received support from Johnson Charles and Marlon Samuels as the West Indies easily surpassed the Afghanistan score of 122 runs.
"It was a decent pitch to bat on so credit must go to the bowlers for the way they went out and restricted Afghanistan for 122, and that helped us to finish off strongly with the bat. I'm really happy with that," Gayle said.
"I think we stuck to the task well against Afghanistan. We didn't get off to a flyer when we batted, we lost Smithy (Dwayne Smith) so I had to build a partnership with young Johnno (Johnson Charles) and he played well. When he got out, Marlon came in and we finished off well. A lot of guys didn't get a hit, but they are preparing mentally for the first match".
West Indies, who lost their first warm-up game against Sri Lanka, open their campaign in the tournament against Australia on Saturday at the R Premadasa Stadium in Khetterama. First ball is at 11 a.m. (T&T time).
"The main challenge is going to be the first match with the Aussies. If we get past Australia we should know where we're at," Gayle said.
"Even if that doesn't happen we have to make sure we qualify, and that would make the game against Ireland vital for us...they have upset a lot of big teams, so we have to be very mindful of that."
West Indies are going into the tournament as one of the favourites, and are currently ranked number five on the ICC's Twenty/20 table.
Gayle is confident that the Caribbean side, who recently completed nine days of intense training in Barbados, can advance to the final.
"The sub-continent teams are always challenging and the task against them will be difficult," said the big-hitting left handed batsman.
"Every team has a chance, but I know once we stick to our plans I don't see any reason why we shouldn't make it to the final and take it from there."