Kingston (Jamaica), July 1 (IANS/CMC) Opener Johnson Charles says he played his natural game to steer the West Indies to the brink of a nail-biting one-wicket win over India in the second game of the Tri-Nation ODI series at Sabina Park Sunday.
Charles missed his century by three runs but led a West Indies recovery, adding 116 with Darren Bravo after the home side had lost three early wickets.
The St. Lucian batsman was named Man of the Match for his 97 which came off 100 balls and included eight fours and four sixes.
“I felt nice and relaxed at the crease. I was told to go out and play my natural game and that is what I did,” Charles said.
“In the last game I had no rhythm but this game I came out with a bit more intent and I knew exactly where I wanted to score. I played to my strengths and played shots according to the fields India set.”
Charles entertained the Sabina Park crowd with an array of shots.
His response to Chris Gayle’s wicket was three straight fours hit straight down the ground off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the third over and later carting Bhuvneshwar and Umesh Yadav for three more fours.
“When you get out for 97 it is always going to be a disappointing feeling but I have to say ‘well done’ to Tino and Roach for getting us across the line,” said Charles.
“When we got across the line…that was huge pressure off my shoulders.”
Sunday’s innings was Charles’ second half-century against India in as many matches.
Earlier this month, he made a run-a-ball 60 in the ICC Champions Trophy at the Oval in England.
“We bowled well against the Indians and reduced them to a score we knew we could chase down,” he said.
“The pitch improved a bit, it got flatter and was more of a batting pitch. I would have liked to reach three figures and carry my team to victory but I’m happy we made it two wins in a row.”