Winning close games is always better: Simmons

"It’s always better to have a close game, and especially when you win a close game, it just brings out that part of you which reminds you they’re not all going to be easy. And when you win the close ones, it shows that you’re doing something right," West Indies coach Phil Simmons said.

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No team has won the World T20 more than once. But even before the tournament began, West Indies was billed to be a strong contender to achieve that feat on April 3. Having sealed a place in the semifinals with a hard-fought win, the Caribbean crusaders are well on course to repeat their 2012 feat.

After clinical victories against England and Sri Lanka, West Indies almost let the match against South Africa slip on a tricky surface at Jamtha on Friday. But coach Phil Simmons is keen on focusing on the positives. “It’s always better to have a close game, and especially when you win a close game, it just brings out that part of you which reminds you they’re not all going to be easy. And when you win the close ones, it shows that you’re doing something right,” Simmons said on Saturday, ahead of the team’s last league outing against Afghanistan.

At the same time, the coach admitted the team should have chased down a target of 123 much earlier than with just two balls remaining.

“I think we expected to chase it down a lot earlier, but who you have at the crease determines how quickly you chase it down. If Chris (Gayle) had lasted eight to ten overs, he would have nearly finished it. But the batsmen themselves worked out how to get there,” Simmons said.

“And I think Marlon (Samuels) must be commended again on how close he took us. He’s disappointed he didn’t finish it – which we are trying to get in every game, that somebody finishes it. But it was always going to be like that because we saw how hard it was for South Africa to get to 122. We bowled well, but it was still a hard wicket to bat on. So it was always going to be difficult.”