Friday, December 15, 2017

Windies brace for England counterattack

West Indies skipper Dwayne Bravo is expecting another tough game against the touring England side in the second One Day International, which bowls off at 9.30 a.m. today at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, but insisted that the home team will be ready for the English “counterattack”.

England would have been disappointed after their 15-run defeat to their hosts on Friday and Bravo expects them to raise their game for the second match of the three-game series.

The final ODI takes place on Wednesday at the same venue.

On Friday, Bravo led a West Indies recovery with an unbeaten 87 off 91 balls after they slipped to 45 for four in the 16th over.

He shared in two brilliant century partnerships--108 for the fifth wicket with Lendl Simmons, who made 65 off 94 balls, and then another 116 in just 10 overs with Darren Sammy who blazed 61 off 36 balls—as the hosts fought back to reach 269 for six off their 50 overs.

West Indies then limited the visitors to 254 for six off their 50 overs despite a century from Michael Lumb.

“We batted well. We watched the field and we took our chances and it worked for us. The next encounter is a whole different game.

“We know England as a professional unit will definitely go back to the drawing board and try to counterattack us so we have to do the same. It worked for us today (Friday) but on another day it might work against us,” the West Indies skipper added.

Bravo said it was his team’s belief that kept them on course to victory.

 “The key was belief…we believed as a team. We knew that despite the start they (England) got that coming onto the end of the match, once we kept picking up wickets and the run rate kept going up, it would be difficult for them.

“The partnership between Lendl Simmons and myself was crucial and it allowed us to rebuild. We did not have the kind of start we wanted but we had the belief that once we recovered we could win the game.

“That allowed Darren Sammy to come and play his usual flamboyant way which made a big difference. At one point it looked like we would get 220, but Sammy’s innings allowed us to get up to around 270 and we felt as a bowling group that we would defend that.

“It also helped to have the number one bowler in your team (Sunil Narine), and that was crucial as we dried up the boundaries at the end of their innings. To win the first match means a lot for us. We showed a lot of character to bounce back against a very good team,” Bravo said.

The all-rounder added that the win was “extra special” as it came on the day when three legends—Sir Anderson Roberts, Sir Curtly Ambrose and Sir Richard Richardson, the Windies team manager—were knighted for their services to cricket.


West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith

England: Stuart Broad (captain), Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Michael Lumb, Stephen Parry, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Luke Wright