Mumbai - Lendl Simmons believes India's lack of genuine pace
bowlers helped him guide West Indies to a seven-wicket victory in the semi-final
of the World Twenty20 on Thursday.
Simmons smashed an unbeaten 82 off 51 balls and featured in two
strong partnerships with opener Johnson Charles (52) and Andre Russell (43 not
out) as West Indies raced to 196-3 after India had scored 192-2.
"The (Indian) bowling was suspect, they had (Ashish) Nehra
and (Jasprit) Bumrah, the two fast bowlers but not express pace," Simmons
West Indies cautiously played out experienced Nehra (1-24) but
smacked the two other young fast bowlers Hardik Pandya (0-43) and Jasprit
Bumrah (1-42) to fashion out victory.
Simmons only flew into Mumbai on Tuesday after Andre Fletcher
pulled a hamstring during West Indies' last group match against Afghanistan and
was ruled out of the tournament.
"Before the game I felt a bit of pressure on myself, but it
was good we had a target to chase and we got there," Simmons said.
"When I entered to bat I had a clear mind what I wanted to do
because we already had a plan to chase the target."
Simmons said his two-year experience of playing for Mumbai Indians
in the Indian Premier League was key in helping him to marshal the run-chase
during which he decimated the Indian bowlers with his exquisite drives, pulls
"Obviously it (IPL) has made me a better player, after
playing IPL on these pitches you adjust to different strokes," he said.
"I was due to come to Mumbai on Friday and get ready for the
IPL as well, see this is my home ground and I think I read it well," he
Simmons set up the run-chase despite West Indies losing its
swashbuckling opener Chris Gayle in only the second over. He added 97 runs with
Charles and then a quick-fire 80 off just 39 balls with Russell to see his side
through to Sunday's final against England at Kolkata.
But Simmons was lucky when he was twice caught off no-balls on 18
and then on 50 to the disappointment of the home supporters.
"Today was my day," he said. "Every cricketer has a
day, today I had luck on my side and things went the way we wanted it."
Simmons cautioned West Indies not to take England lightly, which
defeated New Zealand in the semi-final after the Kiwis came to the last-four
stage on the back of four successive victories in group matches.
"We shouldn't be over confident," he said. "We have
to go to Kolkata and analyse the situation of the game when that comes.
"Conditions will be different I am sure. It won't be a
perfect batting track like the wicket today after watching the previous games