Sammy: Oh what a day!
Mumbai, India – West Indies captain Darren Sammy has rued his side’s missed chance in the third and final Test against India here Saturday but said he was buoyed by their fighting spirit in earning a draw.
West Indies managed to secure a dramatic stalemate on the final day of the contest at the Wankhede Stadium, after limiting India to two of the three runs they needed off the tense last over.
“Going into the final stages of the match I had all sorts of feelings coming into my mind. At one time, the thought of a tied Test too came to my mind,” Sammy said afterward.
“I was speaking to Kirk (Edwards) at cover and he said ‘we can draw, we can win, we won’t lose’. To lose the game after scoring 590 [in the first innings] would have been heartbreaking for us as a young side.
“In the end I have to say we are happy with the result but a win would have been icing on the cake. We would have loved to win against a higher ranked team. It would have given us some points in the ICC Test match team rankings. Our goal as a team is to break into the top five in Test cricket, so a victory today would have done us the world of good.”
The match, which seems destined for a draw at the start of the final day, was turned on its head when West Indies crashed for 134 all out in their second innings.
They resumed on 81 for two – an overall lead of 189 – but lost their last eight wickets for 53 runs to be all out before lunch.
“We were hoping to set a target of about 300-plus when we came to the ground this morning,” Sammy explained.
“But after we lost seven or eight wickets we had to go back to the drawing board and change the plans. We knew we had a chance of winning but we had to bowl well and field well. We didn’t bat well but we kept on believing that we could get a draw or a win.”
Set 243 to win, India coasted on the back of half-centuries from Virat Kohli (63) opener Virender Sehwag (60), and started the final over of the game needing three runs to win with two wickets in hand.
However, pacer Fidel Edwards bowled a brilliant over to deny the Indians, leaving Sammy to yet again shower praise on his attack.
“Again the bowlers did not let us down. It was a tough, hard day but they stuck to it and made sure we did not lose,” he pointed out.
“As a team we are making some strides but we still need more consistency. We did some good things earlier this year against Pakistan and India at home and we beat Bangladesh in Bangladesh last month. We came here and competed against India but we didn’t capitalise on the key moments.
Sammy added: “We showed fight in Dominica [in the final Test against India in the Caribbean earlier this year] when we had three bowlers. Today again, a bowler down, we really showed a lot of fight. That is a positive we could take from this series. We really kept our heads up when we were down.”
Sammy could now bowl because of a hamstring strain.