St John’s, Antigua – Anthony Martin turned in a superb match-winning performance to lead West Indies to a huge victory in the Fourth Digicel Pearls One-Day International on Monday.
The leg-spinner took 4-36 from 10 overs in just his fifth international outing as the Windies won by 103 runs to record their first triumph at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds. India now lead the five-match rubber 3-1, with one match left.
Windies lost the toss and were again ask to bat first. They made 249-8 off 50 overs, with the topscore of 70 coming from Kieron Pollard, and a classy 67 from the in-form Lendl Simmons. Wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh made a responsible 39, while Andre Russell again advertised his power-hitting skills with 25 off 14 balls.
Playing before a colourful holiday crowd which included his mother, a former national netballer, and three-year-old daughter, Martin was deadly accurate and again displayed the passion and commitment for which he has become known. The 28-year-old law enforcement officer celebrated every wicket by jumping high and punching the air.
"I’m feeling really, really good inside. I don’t smile a lot when I’m out there on the field, out there is tough, hard business and today I meant business," he said. "We started the match 3-0 down and I was committed to putting in a big performance today. When I went out I told the guys ‘we can win’, and I was happy I contributed to that win."
He added: "I’m here in the West Indies team and I’m loving every moment of it. It was always my dream to play at this level and now that I got that chance I want to keep giving my all and go from strength to strength.
"I’m so delighted I performed against India. They are the world champions and I thought if I did it against them that would be a special occasion. My family and friends were here to see me and that made it extra special."
Martin, who started out as a fast bowler, switched to slow bowling 12 years ago after an accident. "When I had I accident it affected my game but I realised I still wanted to play cricket. I was going to give up. I decided that if I couldn’t bowl fast I would bowl slow and make something of it. I’m self-motivated and I know what I want to achieve. I just want to get better."
Both teams will travel to Jamaica on Tuesday ahead of the fifth and final Digicel Pearls ODI at Sabina Park on Thursday.