New boy Baker makes good start

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- Lionel Baker, the newest member of the West Indies Cricket Team, said he had his thinking cap on during his impressive spell against Pakistan in the opening match of the Fortune Cup Series on Wednesday. The 24-year-old – the first player from the island of Montserrat to wear West Indies colours in an official international match – also noted that he will be looking for more success during the second match on Friday.

“It was a good start and I really enjoyed the opportunity to show my ability on the international stage. I felt confident all the way through and never felt, at any stage, that I was out of my league or that I could not do the job,” said Baker.

He ended with 3 for 47 on a placid batting surface but unfortunately was on the losing end as Pakistan won the match by four wickets with a ball to spare at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

The plan is to be even tighter in the second match on Friday.

“I did not get everything quite right and I aim to do better in the second match. I need to eliminate the bad ball, and try to get more ‘dot’ balls at the batsmen in those crucial middle overs,” he said.

Baker also added that was a wonderful feeling to wear the maroon shirt.

“It was a very proud moment for me when I put on the shirt for the first time and being the first player from my country made it quite special. I just knew I had to go out and do the job to the best of my ability,” he said.

West Indies Captain Chris Gayle praised Baker for his brilliant effort under pressure and under the lights in the day/night contest.

“Baker was excellent under pressure and he answered the call. I was really impressed with the may he handled himself and I have to applaud the young man. He kept the ball in the right areas, where it was difficult to score and made life quite difficult for the Pakistani batsmen,” Gayle said.

The second match will be on Friday and the final match on Sunday. Play in the day/night series starts at 3 pm (7 am Eastern Caribbean Time/6 am Jamaica Time).