PREVIEW: Windies seek win at Kensington

Bridgetown, Barbados, CMC – Captain Darren Sammy says an improved performance from his batsmen and bowlers will be needed if West Indies are to arrest their losing slide against Pakistan when the third Digicel One-Day International on Thursday.

First ball is 9.30 am (8.30 am Jamaica Time).

The Windies will be looking for a victory to stay alive in the series, after losing the double-header in St Lucia last week to fall behind 0-2 in the five-match rubber.

“We’ve reviewed that last two games and we have identified the areas where we need to improve especially with the dot-ball percentage. In both matches you had over 50 per cent … so that’s an area that we definitely have to improve on,” Sammy told reporters on Wednesday.

“The batsmen are aware of that and I know that with the help of Dessie (Desmond Haynes) showing them different ways in which to counteract the spin, I’m confident we will see a better display or some more intent, whether running between the wickets, shot selection and things like that.”

In both matches last weekend at the Beausejour Cricket Ground, West Indies failed to mount significant totals, gathering 221 in the first game and 220 in the second.

The hosts have managed just two half-centuries, with stylish left-hander Darren Bravo stroking a slow 67 in the first game while Lendl Simmons scored an attractive 51 in the last encounter.

West Indies have been bogged down by off-spinners Saeed Ajmal and Mohammed Hafeez, who have undermined the batting on both occasions. Behind these batting displays, Pakistan overhauled their targets, marching to an eight-wicket victory in the first encounter and a seven-wicket triumph on Monday.

Sammy said his bowlers were well aware of the need to put more pressure on the Pakistani batsmen.

“Every bowler in order to get wickets you have to be at least consistent in your line and length although we had an improved performance in the second game we still didn’t bowl balls in consistent areas to get that wicket,” Sammy explained. “That is something as a team we are aware of. We have to take wickets, whether with the new ball or at other intervals of the game.”

Pakistan, led by Shahid Afridi meanwhile, will be looking to wrap up the series with a win on Thursday – National Heroes Day in Barbados, a national holiday. Ajmal and Hafeez are expected to feature prominently in the attack again while Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad Asad Shafiq, Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Akmal will be looking to score heavily on the placid Kensington Oval pitch and fast outfield.

Thursday’s match is the first of a double-header at Oval, with the second match scheduled for Monday – Labour Day on the island, a national holiday.

West Indies:
Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo (vice captain), Carlton Baugh, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Anthony Martin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Devon Smith
Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (captain), Misbah-ul-Haq (vice captain), Abdur Rehman, Ahmed Shahzad, Asad Shafiq, Hammad Azman, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Salman, Sadaf Hussain, Saeed Ajmal, Tanveer Ahmed, Taufeeq Umar, Umar Akmal, Usman Salahuddin, Wahab Riaz   Match officials Umpires: Asoka DeSilva, Peter Nero
Television umpire: Norman Malcolm
Fourth official: Joel Wilson
ICC Match referee: Jeff Crowe

Fri, 04/29/2011 - 00:52