Late replacement Lendl Simmons led a charmed life to blast 82 not out and carry West Indies to a nail-biting seven-wicket win in the last over against India in the second semi-final of the World Twenty20 on 31 March.
Simmons was caught three times at the Wankhede Stadium but survived each time â€“ the first two were no-balls. The third was on 68 when Ravindra Jadeja caught him in mid-air on the boundary but stepped on the rope when he landed, turning a possible dismissal into a six. Simmons made the most of his fortunate reprieves to help West Indies set up a final against England on 3 April.
Yes, I think today was my day. Every cricketer has his day and today was my day. I had a bit of luck on my side. I ride my luck and things went the way I wanted it, Simmons told reporters in Mumbai.
India made 192 for two after they were put in to bat, Virat Kohli continued his rich vein of form by smashing an undefeated 89.
West Indies lost the dangerous Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels early in their reply but opener Johnson Charles kept them in the hunt with a 36-ball 52 and a third-wicket stand of 97 with Simmons. The right-handed Simmons plays for Mumbai in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and was only called into the squad two days ago as a replacement for the injured Andre Fletcher.
Well, I got the news after the game against Afghanistan and the chairman called me and asked me if I was fit to come and play. I said yes I was fit. I was to leave Friday to come to Mumbai to get ready for IPL and I saw it as an opportunity to come and get ready for IPL as well. See this is my home ground as well, I know the conditions and I think I read it well, Simmons said.
He cracked seven fours and five sixes in 51 balls and added an unbeaten 80 with Andre Russell for the fourth wicket to take West Indies home with two balls to spare. Russell, known for his powerful hitting, contributed 43 off 20 deliveries including one enormous six which landed in the third tier of the stadium.