Making the most of opportunity

Making the most of opportunity

Making the most of opportunity

In a West Indies squad oozing with plenty of explosive T20 talent, chances don’t come your way too often, especially in the batting segment.

With the likes of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and skipper Darren Sammy almost sure starters, one needs to grab the chances that come your way. Andre Fletcher did just that on Sunday.

Picked for the second WT20 game against Sri Lanka at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in place of Jerome Taylor, the 28-year-old all-rounder made the best use of the luck that fell on his lap. Fan favourite Chris Gayle injured himself during Sri Lanka’s innings and the team management promoted Fletcher to partner opener Johnson Charles.

Grabbing the opportunity with both hands, the Grenadian hammered a 64-ball 84 not out (6x4, 5x6) to not only power his side home but make a strong case for himself. “I have been playing T20 for a while and I have been getting out as soon as I make 50, so I was trying to encourage myself to bat through as much as possible. I knew that if I bat through we have a great chance of winning despite losing three wickets quickly. I am happy that I did that. I was a little bit under pressure because I wanted to do well. I always try to motivate myself and in doing that I came out on top. I’m happy for that,” said a delighted Fletcher.

Apart from having to counter spinners Jeffrey Vandersay and Milinda Siriwardana who had the Windies in a bind with their turn and bounce, Fletcher had to bat with the near-packed Chinnaswamy Stadium gathering constantly cha­nting for a wicket to see Gayle bat. There was a moment in the game when Fletc­her edged Dushmantha Cha­m­eera to wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal. The crowd went ballistic but were quietened soon when the third replay ruled Fletcher not out as the catch was completed off a bump ball. Boos rang out but a composed Fletcher went about his business unperturbed.

“I wouldn’t think they wanted me to get out, but Chris will always be Chris, you know. He is a great T20 batsman and everybody would love to see him bat. I would also would love to see him bat as well, watch him from the other end. Just that I got the opportunity to open the batting and I am grateful for it. But I didn’t take his spot. I can’t take his spot. I don’t think anyone in the world can take his spot, so I am happy that I did the job for the team and I am grateful for that position.” With just one win away from securing a semifinal spot from Super 10s Group 1, Fletcher said the mood in the camp is very upbeat. “Well, we have a great team spirit, we are united as one. We just need to try and continue the momentum and try not to get too complacent. We always try to play each game as a final, so we just want to play as hard as possible and once we win all four (group games), it’ll be great for us.”

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