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Narine's magic spell leaves NZ spellbound; takes Windies to semi-finals

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Sunil Narine didn't have a lot to say after his outstanding bowling performance helped West Indies beat New Zealand and qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 tournament. The quiet off-spinner prefers to let his bowling do the talking, and judging from Monday's magical display with the ball, he spoke quite loudly.

Narine had the excellent figures of 4-0-20-3 at a crucial stage in the contest as West Indies held New Zealand to 139-7 in reply to their 139 all out off 19.3 overs in their Group 1 Super Eights match at the Pallekele International Stadium. After the tie, the match went to the One-Over Eliminator and West Indies made the 18 runs to win thanks to the big-hitting of Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.

"I'm extremely happy with my performance. It is always a great thing for any cricketer to get the Man-of-the-Match award and help your team to win. It was a big match for us – we had to win it to have any chance of making the semis – so I knew I had to pull one out of the bag for the team," Narine said. "I'm just enjoying the moment...once you come to perform on the world stage you look to give your all and that's what I did out there today.

"It is always a task bowling in the pressure situations, but I know with the captain backing me anything is possible, he always offers me a lot of support. I was not really among the wickets coming into this game, but that didn't worry me too much and the others in the team had confidence in me. I felt I was bowling well and my time would come. We didn't get the kind of score we were looking for, but we bowled good lines and were pretty consistent and that kept the pressure on New Zealand," the 24-year-old added.

Narine's three wickets came after he put a halt to the scoring rate. He had left-hander James Franklin brilliantly caught one-handed by Gayle at slip and then returned to trap Jacob Oram plumb in front. Soon after, he had Nathan McCullum caught at deep midwicket by Johnson Charles as the pressure mounted.

Narine is new to international cricket, having made his debut less than a year ago. However, he has made an immediate impression and was named ICC Emerging Player-of-the-Year last month. When asked how he felt about not being nominated to bowl the Super Over, he said that he supported the decision to give the ball to Marlon Samuels, who did the job despite suffering a sore shoulder.

"It was a team decision and whatever the team decided everyone was happy to go along with. We did a good job of picking Marlon Samuels, he bowled the last over against England a few days ago as well. He then went out and delivered with Gayle and that was a great win for us."