“I’m going out there to give my best. I’m giving a hundred per cent so that the people of Antigua & Barbuda and the people of the West Indies could feel proud of whatever I’m doing.”
The words of Anthony “Iroots” Martin who told the nation last week what to expect in his first appearance of the five-match One Day International series.
The rookie leg-spinner scalped four wickets and with help from Kieron Pollard, West Indies trounced India by 103 runs to earn a consolation victory in the fourth ODI at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds yesterday.
Martin, who made his international debut at age 28 against Pakistan in April, captured four for 36 as India’s batting surprisingly collapsed for 146 off 39 overs.
Martin performed admirably before his home crowd; but the truth is his performance is merely a continuation of the great work he has been doing in recent years. It certainly redeemed the confidence that the West Indies Cricket Board selectors have in him and it may do well for him with regards to a future Windies selection.
Martin plays locally for a Police team and is the spearhead bowler for the Leeward Islands cricket squad.
“The conditions I know very well, so it helped me a lot,” explained the man-of-the-match.
“And I would like to say thanks a lot to the crowd for supporting me. I’m glad for that.”
He said that his dream to represent the West Indies had come true.
“I’ve been looking forward to it and its finally here. So I’m going to do the best that I can. My mind set when I came in to bowl, … I just decided that I (was) going to keep it very tight and allow the batters to do what they want to do.”
Martin along with two other top class cricketers from the village of Bethesda recently had a billboard erected in their country to honour them. Pacer Gavin Tonge and wicketkeeper/batsman Devon “Boobie” Thomas complete the trio.
The right-armer claimed the crucial wickets of India’s top scorer Rohit Sharma (39), Virat Kohli (22) and captain Suresh Raina (10), to engineer India’s terminal decline from a position of 82 for three in the 21st over.
Meanwhile, Pollard top scored with 70 to lift West Indies to 249 for eight.
West Indies were always in with a chance once Pollard, in tandem with the in-form Lendl Simmons (67) had pushed West Indies to their highest score of the series.
Pollard faced 72 balls and cracked six fours and two sixes an innings that was crucial after West Indies plunged to 103 for five in the 27th over.
The 24-year-old Trinidadian, whose previous best against a top flight side was 62 against Australia in February last year, anchored a 96-run, sixth wicket stand with wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh who again played responsibly for 39.