‘Narine took the game away from SA’


West Indies coach Phil Simmons has heaped praise on spinner Sunil Narine for his determination to get back in the side after being banned for chucking, and said Narine was the key to defeating South Africa in the tri-series opener.

Narine, who had not played fort he Windies since last November, took six wickets as the Proteas crumbled to 188 all out, and the hosts chased the target down with four wickets in hand in Guyana.

Narine's inclusion was controversial, as he'd not played in the domestic 50-over tournament since coming back from changing his action, but Simmons felt the risk had paid off.

The coach said of Narine and Kieron Pollard's inclusions, and subsequent sterling efforts: "They are the two guys who took the game away from South Africa, and it showed that they're very important to our cricket.

"Narine himself, coming back from everything he's been through, to come and perform the way he did today, you have to give him a lot of kudos for his grit and his determination, to come out of where he's been and to come back and perform like this."

He added of the team's overall performance, after being the underdogs to win the game despite playing at home: "Pollard's experience showed there.

"His ability to hit the ball but also his experience to guide young [Darren] Bravo and so on through the end. [It] showed in [South Africa's] innings too, [AB] de Villiers guiding [Rilee] Rossouw.

"And also, I think we came out and [showed] a little bit more grit and a little bit more determination."