Gibson: Credit to lower order

Kingstown, St Vincent — West Indies came back from five wickets down for just 78 runs to snatch a tie against Australia in a dramatic end to the third Digicel One-Day International at Arnos Vale on holiday Tuesday.

After bowling out the Australia for 220, West Indies lost half their side in just 21 overs, but battled their way back in front a capacity crowd of over 12,000. The five-match Digicel ODI Series is now level 1-1, with two important matches left at Beausejour in St Lucia.

West Indies were in deep trouble early in the chase before Andre Russell (37), Kieron Pollard (36) and keeper Carlton Baugh (33) played well to lift the home side’s hopes. Russell and Baugh added 64 for the sixth wicket. Opener Johnson Charles topscored with 45 in his third ODI.

After Baugh fell at 190-8 the game went back in favour of the visitors, but skipper Darren Sammy held the tail together with Sunil Narine and Kemar Roach. Sammy was however run out off the third ball of the last over with just one needed for victory, after a mix-up with Roach.

Earlier in the day, off-spinner Sunil Narine was again the West Indies’ best bowler with 3-32 off 9.5 overs as Australia slumped from 202-5 to lose the last five wickets for 18 runs in the final five overs. Speedster Roach (2-42) and spinner Marlon Samuels (2-39) also bowled well.

Speaking after the match, West Indies Head Coach Ottis Gibson said his players demonstrated to everyone they have it in them to match the Australians, but they need to stay calm in high-pressure situations.

“We should have won today and we have quite a few disappointed boys in the dressing room at the moment. But, look at it this way, we didn’t lose the match and we are still in with a great chance of winning the series,” said Gibson.

“Today, we clawed our way back from five down for just 78 runs and kept pace with the target. The lower order kept us in the game and credit must go to them for the way they played. The last five wickets gave us close to 150 runs so that’s a really good effort. We keep showing the fight that we have spoken about for a long time and we are seeing signs of improvement. Our fielding effort and our bowling performance today were outstanding.

“The way we kept going and kept ourselves in the contest was good to see. The last time the Australians toured the West Indies, at this stage, the series was already over. They went on to win 5-0. Now at this stage we are still in it with all to play for,” added Gibson who took over two years ago.

“The first match last Friday was disappointing. But we came back in a big way to win on Sunday and showed that we have it in us. We will go to St Lucia and re-group, come again, and look for two wins to take the series.”

The two teams arrived in St Lucia on Wednesday for the fourth and fifth Digicel One-Day Internationals.

Wed, 03/21/2012 - 17:34