The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I never lost hope: Sourav
- Dravid lauds MoM Gayle’s ‘unbelievable’ effort

Ahmedabad: It was a big total that was hunted down with lots to spare in the end. Sourav Ganguly said after Friday’s fourth ODI against the West Indies that he never really thought his team would not make it.

“At 45 for two I knew it was going to be tough but we were always in the race. I never lost hope,” said the Indian skipper. He said this win was as good as the famous 325-chase at the NatWest Trophy final against England earlier this year. “That was special because it was a final, but this is as good since it helped us draw level in the series.”

The architects of the victory, Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Bangar, said they had different gameplans. “After the fall of a few wickets around me I told myself to stay there till the end. The wicket was really good and so was our run-rate. I knew what my role was and expected somebody to accelerate from the other end. Bangar exploded at this stage. It was a splendid effort,” said Dravid.

Bangar, whose gentle look often hides the power he can pack, said he was a little too keen to come good with the bat after having bad day in the field.

“Sourav told me at the break that you don’t always succeed and to take it in stride. Once I was there in the middle, I was confident I would make it.”

The mild-mannered allrounder felt he still has a long way to go before cementing a place in the ODI XI.

The skipper, however, came out in support of his bowlers after yet another expensive outing. “True, it hasn’t been as good as we would have liked, but you have to give some room to the bowlers.

“It’s never easy for bowlers in one-dayers and you have to remember that Chris Gayle played an outstanding innings,” said Sourav.

Dravid, however, said he had no regrets about missing out on the Man of the Match award. “The team has won. That comes foremost and you can’t take anything away from Gayle’s effort. Some of the shots he played were unbelievable,” said Dravid.

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