Despite losing the second One-day International to England on Sunday in Antigua, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson was pleased with the fight shown by his players to try and defend their low score to make the game a close one.
West Indies were dismissed for 159 off 44.2 overs at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium but it was not enough as England reached 163 for seven off 44.4 overs to win by three wickets and get themselves back into the three-match series following their close 15-run loss in the first match last week.
Gibson also stressed that West Indies were looking ahead to next year’s World Cup and that they will approach the last game of the series tomorrow like they would a final, with everything to play for.
“We are building towards the 2015 World Cup and this could be the World Cup final so we have to get our finals faces on and come out on Wednesday and approach it in that way,” he said.
“We are one win away from beating a team that is ranked higher than us which is a good achievement for us, so there is all to play for and hopefully the guys are up for it on Wednesday,” Gibson added.
Speaking about his team’s performance on Sunday Gibson said: “You know 160 was never really going to be enough but the guys fought really hard.
“It was a gallant effort to try and defend it and even at seven down, we had a couple of chances to get (Stuart) Broad out and that would have changed the game and probably swing it in our favour. It wasn’t to be, but the way the guys fought was really pleasing,” he added.
West Indies had England 105 for seven but the visitors battled back to reach their target and level series with Broad hitting an unbeaten 28 to lead his side across the line despite some good bowling from the Windies spinners Sunil Narine and Nikita Miller.
Speaking about the decision to play two spinners, the Windies coach said: “I think it was a good idea to bring in Nikita after we saw the way the pitch played in the first game.
“There was not a lot of massive turn but Nikita came in and bowled very well and Sunil is the number one bowler in the world in the short format and he did not get the wickets he probably deserved today. He beat the bat a lot and he tried really hard to bowl us to victory but it was not meant to be. It was a really good effort to try and defend that low score,” he added.
Narine finished with figures of 10-0-25-1, while Miller was just as economical, returning figures of 10-1-28-2.
Gibson also praised the efforts of Lendl Simmons in the middle order.
Simmons scored 70 on Sunday and 65 in the first match on Friday, digging the home team out of trouble after poor starts on both occasions.
“He (Simmons) has played very well. He usually opens but he is batting in the middle order and he is really holding up the middle order as he showed in the last two games,” said Gibson.
“I am really pleased with way he is playing and hopefully that form can continue into the next match and into the T20s,” the coach added.