Gibson: We will learn from defeat
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, CMC – Head Coach Ottis Gibson has downplayed West Indies’ loss to Sri Lanka in their opening warm-up game ahead of the World Twenty20 Championship starting here next week.
The Caribbean side could only muster 132 for six off their 20 overs and Sri Lanka easily chased down the target courtesy of unbeaten half-centuries from Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan.
“It was an opportunity to give other people a chance. Obviously you’d like to win every game you play but the reality is this is just a warm-up,” Gibson said afterward. “Looking at the World Cup as a whole we will need our bench strength so it was an opportunity to give those guys a run out.”
West Indies got a top score of 30 from rookie stroke-maker Johnson Charles while left-hander Darren Bravo got 29 and Kieron Pollard, 28 not out, but none of the Windies batsmen found top gear. Both openers failed with Lendl Simmons (2) and Dwayne Smith (5) falling cheaply to Nuwan Kulasekera.
“We didn’t bat particularly well and lost wickets at key stages. But 133 on that wicket – some balls were keeping low and stuff like that – seemed to be a challenging total but obviously when they batted they made it look very easy,” Gibson explained.
“We didn’t bowl particularly well and that’s something we have to look at.”
West Indies have been installed as one of the pre-tournament favourites for the September 18 to October 7 tournament, and will compete in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland. Gibson said he did not expect any major fall-out from the loss and backed his team to remain focused.
“We only flew in here two days ago so our guys are still trying to adjust to the conditions and stuff like that. I thought Johnson Charles batted very well for us and young Darren Bravo in the middle order played well for us,” Gibson noted.