Charles takes charge with majestic 130
St George’s, Grenada – Johnson Charles scored his second consecutive century in One-Day Internationals as West Indies put on a dominant display against Zimbabwe on Friday.
The powerful opener made a career-best 130 off 111 balls to follow up his 100 against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground two weeks ago.
The home side, backed by a colourful holiday crowd at the Grenada National Stadium, completely outplayed the visitors. West Indies made 337-4 from their 50 overs and Zimbabwe could only muster 181-9 as international cricket made a successful return to the Spice Isle.
Charles looked in charge from the start of the innings and hit 12 boundaries and four sixes as he added a record 168 for the first wicket with left-hander Kieran Powell, who made 79 off 88 balls. Darren Bravo also played superbly to make 100 not out off just 71 balls – his first ODI century.
“This is a special knock for me and I want to dedicate it to the people of my country in St Lucia as we celebrate our independence today. I wanted to do something really memorable and I was happy I could deliver the goods today,” said Charles.
“I felt I batted really well. People know me as ‘Johnson Charles the man who is a blaster’, but I wanted to show that it’s not about what you like, but what you have to do. My role in the team as an opener is to give the team a solid start and look to bat deep into the innings, and I managed to achieve that today.
Charles made his ODI debut last year against Australia in the Caribbean and struggled in the early stages. He joined the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre in Barbados and said that move played a significant role in his development.
“I used to look to hit everything but I have realised there is a job to be done as an opener. If I get the ball to hit I will hit it, but I am more selective and I look to build a platform and build an innings. My time at the Sagicor HPC has been the turnaround in my career. The HPC has played a vital role in helping me to refine my game and I have a new kind of confidence that I can play and do well at this level. I have now had two consecutive hundreds and I will look for similar performances in the future.”
Charles added: “Consistency is the key for me. That is what make you a good player. I will look to build an innings and look to get consistent scores for the team. I have increased my range of strokes and I now realise I have more scoring options – I look to work the ball into the gaps and pick off runs, not just blast everything out of the ground.”
West Indies will have a training session on Saturday morning at the Grenada National Stadium as they prepare for the second One-Day International at the same venue on Sunday.