Windies focussed on winning, says Sammy
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Darren Sammy’s steady medium-fast bowling put West Indies in control of the first Digicel Test against Australia, giving them a chance of forcing an outright victory.
Sammy was brilliant with the new ball in the opening session on the third day on Easter Monday holiday. His superb control on the off stump got rid of Ed Cowan (14) as he edged to ‘keeper Carlton Baugh, and then struck again with a similar delivery, as Dave Warner (42) was snapped up by Darren Bravo at second slip.
Late in the day leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo captured the crucial wicket of Australia captain Michael Clarke (73), as the Aussies ended on 248-5, still 201 away from the Windies first innings total of 449-9 declared.
Sammy’s opening spell was two wickets for 14 off 10 overs and he finished the day with 2-33 off 15 overs. The others wickets were: Shane Watson (39) caught by Baugh off Kemar Roach, and Ricky Ponting (4) to a superb run out from an athletic piece of ground fielding by teenager Kraigg Brathwaite.
Speaking after the day’s play, Sammy said his team was focussed on maintaining the pressure on the visitors in a bid to force a win.
“We are in a strong position at the moment and we will be pushing for a victory,” said Sammy. “It feels good to be in a strong position and it was good to see the way our fielders supported the bowlers, and the way this has backed up the good batting performance from the first two days.”
He added: “Early wickets will be crucial [on Tuesday]. We will look to continue to build the pressure by bowling one side of the wicket and try to hold on to whatever chances come our way. We have half the side out and we are one wicket away from Peter Siddle and the tail, so we believe once we strike early we can make some inroads and get a significant lead.”
Sammy said Bishoo will be the trump card. The 2011 ICC Emerging Player of the Year has so far troubled all the batsmen and could pose more problems as the pitch deteriorates on the last two days.
“Bishoo will be the key for us in the two days that remain,” he said. “He is getting the ball to bounce and turn and there is some ‘rough’ for him to work with as well so he will be the main man for us in the last part of this match. He didn't bowl that badly, you saw the way he deceived Michael Clarke and had him caught, but he just needs to be a bit more consistent.”
Sammy downplayed his role in his side’s performance, describing it as “doing my job”.
“I understand my job quite clearly,” he said. “I have to work hard to get my wickets. I got some wickets, which is always good. From the first day I was picked to play Test cricket for the West Indies, my job was to keep it tight, build the pressure and look to pick off wickets.”
He said: “If you look at the make-up of this team, you would see that I am the most economical bowler in the team, so my role is to support the others and build the pressure on a consistent basis. The Australians got off to a flyer, so someone had to come on and pull the game back for us.”