New Delhi: West Indies cricket team coach Phil Simmons acknowledged Marlon Samuels's effort, saying he took pressure off the swashbuckling Chris Gayle, who hogged the limelight for his stupendous ton.
Gayle helped his side beat England in their opening World T20 Super 10 Group 1 match, in the ICC World Twenty20 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
'Gayle force' was in full flow to deplete England as the Jamaican scored a century off just 47 balls with 11 towering sixes and five boundaries, which helped his side to comfortably chase down the target of 183.
Simmons said that Samuels set up the game which took the pressure off Gayle. He called Samuels a class act and commended him for his knock.
"We all talk about Chris (Gayle) today, but Marlon (Samuels) set up the game today, nicely first, because the way he played, he took a lot of pressure off Chris (Gayle)..and that's the way we have been trying to get him to play because when he plays like that he is a class act, and if we can get him to play like that in every match, he might get off in every match, but he will get some 70/80s also and he will win games for us and he has to be commended today, the way he took pressure off Chris (Gayle) early," Simmons said.
Samuels, who walked in at number three, made a useful 37 off 27 balls, hitting eight fours.
Simmons also praised Gayle saying the 36-year-old makes it look simple working it out against bowlers.
"I think it is as simple as you see it because as you know it this the first time I am with T20 team since I am back, sitting and talking to him and trying to see how he works it out, and it is as simple as he makes it look out there, he actually analyses it as simple as he does it so. I mean there he practices hard, he hits a lot of balls in the nets and thing, but he works it out as he did today,” said Simmons.
(With PTI inputs)