Work left to be done - Powell excited after ton but concentrating on World Cup qualification
HARARE, Zimbabwe (CMC):
Rovman Powell said Saturday he was elated with his maiden One-Day International but was keeping his focus firmly fixed on ensuring West Indies qualify for next year's ICC World Cup in England.
The 24-year-old struck 101 off 100 balls as the Windies trounced the previously unbeaten Ireland by 52 runs in their Group A contest of the World Cup Qualifiers at Harare Sports Club.
"I'm feeling good about my performance. A lot of hard work has been done behind closed doors so I'm definitely elated at this moment," said Powell, who blasted seven fours and seven sixes.
He added: "It means a lot - putting on the West Indies clothes, trying my very best to get West Indies to yet another World Cup. It's a boyhood dream to play for West Indies, so imagine scoring a century for West Indies.
"The bigger picture is for us to get the team to the World Cup. We're not letting this slip our hands - we're holding this opportunity with both hands [to] ensure that at the end of the day, West Indies go to the World Cup."
Powell's role was even more important after West Indies, sent in, stuttered to 83 for five in the 19th over. He initially curbed his natural attacking instinct to add 86 for the sixth wicket with captain Jason Holder, who stroked 54 off 71 deliveries.
TOOK MATTERS INTO OWN HANDS
Once Holder perished in the 40th over, Powell took matters into his own hands, putting on a further 60 for the eighth wicket with Ashley Nurse (10 not out), as West Indies gathered 84 runs off the last 10 overs to get up to 257 for eight off their 50 overs.
"It (the situation) needed somebody to stand tall at that point, and I think I did just that," Powell explained.
"Jason should get a lot of credit because he's the one that kept me grounded. When I wanted to go big, he was telling me we should bat in five-over spans, and we did just that."