Marshall feeling real good

TORONTO, Canada -- West Indies batsman Xavier Marshall is feeling “really good” following his blazing century against Canada on Friday in the tri-nation series in Toronto.

The 22-year-old made 157 not out off just 118 balls to pilot the Windies to a tournament-high 303-4 off 50 overs. Canada then managed 254 all out off 47.2 overs as the West Indies won by 49 runs at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club. Marshall, a polished right-hander, smashed 12 sixes and 11 fours. His six-hitting heroics established a new world record, beating the previous mark of 11 by Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi of Pakistan. The previous highest for West Indies was eight – by Gordon Greenidge and Ricardo Powell.

“I feel really good to get my first international century, then to break a world record and also to help the team win the match. It was great to go out there and back myself and perform for the team. I didn’t get a score in the first match (against Bermuda) so I was determined to get a big score in the second match,” said Marshall, who took home the Player-of-the-Match award.

“Originally, I didn’t know I hit a world record. It is nice to know I got my name in the record books, but even better, I found form and the team won the match.

“At the start of my knock the ball was not really coming on as the pitch here is a bit slow. The medium-pacers were bowling quite well so I knew I had to be patient and smart about what I was doing. After I got in I began to feel better and better and the outfield was quick. I knew all I had to do was push the ball around and hit away the bad balls, so I cashed in a big way.”

Marshall said he is hoping to keep the momentum going and carry on in Sunday’s final against Canada as well as maintain his form heading into the International Cricket Council’s Champions Trophy, which is slated for Pakistan from September 12-28. The Windies are drawn alongside Pakistan, India and Australia in the preliminary round.

“I’m getting to the level where I would like to be but I still have to keep putting in the hard work. For the Champions Trophy, the first thing would be to get used to the conditions and from there, look to play my natural game,” he noted.

“I want to reach that level where I’m consistently getting good scores and contributing to the team. I will use my first hundred as a stepping stone towards better things in the future.”

Looking ahead to Sunday final he added: “We had a good training session on Saturday and we look for more postive things to happen on Sunday. We want to keep on winning.”

West Indies: Chris Gayle (Captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan (Vice Captain), Carlton Baugh, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Fidel Edwards, Shawn Findlay, Leon Johnson, Xavier Marshall, Nikita Miller, Dave Mohammed, Brendan Nash, Daren Powell, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor.

Canada: Sunil Dhaniram (Captain), Abdool Samad (Vice Captain), Rizwan Cheema, Manoj David, Karum Jethi, Ashif Mulla, Richie Kapoor, Henry Osinde, Eion Katchay, Sami Faridi, Kevin Sandher, Ashish Bagai, Mohammad Iqbal, Harvir Baidwan

Match schedule and results.
(All matches to be played at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club, King City, Ontario)
Monday, August 18 – Canada beat Bermuda by 25 runs
Wednesday, August 20 - West Indies beat Bermuda by 6 wickets
Friday, August 22 –West Indies beat Canada by 49 runs
Sunday, August 24 – Final: West Indies v Canada