Thursday, April 25, 2024

Batting storm foiled


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DHAKA – Head coach Ottis Gibson believes that had the weather not intervened, West Indies would have pulled off another sensational victory to beat Sri Lanka in the first semi-final of the World Twenty20 on Thursday.
In pursuit of 161 for victory and a place in today’s final, West Indies were struggling at 80 for four off in the 14th over when heavy rain and a hailstorm arrived to end play prematurely, with the Caribbean side trailing by 27 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis Method.
And though the Windies required nearly 13 runs per over in order to win, Gibson said the confidence in the dressing room suggested this was definitely possible as the team had been embarking on a successful journey.
“The weather came and brought an end to the journey but I’m really proud of how the guys committed themselves to the cause, committed themselves to the journey and the way they went about their business.
“I have no doubt that had the rain not come that we would have gone on and won that game, such was the confidence within the group,” Gibson said.
In the end, West Indies were let down by their sluggish start and were way behind the Duckworth/Lewis par score of 108 when the rains finally came.
“A lot has been said about how slowly we started but you have to give credit to the Sri Lankans. We got 17 off the first over and they went straightaway to their trump card, to Malinga, and he got two wickets that set us back a little bit and we had to re-group,” Gibson explained.
“I’m sure the game was heading towards another grandstand finish but it wasn’t to be. Now we’re on our way home, disappointed obviously for it to finish the way it did but also pleased with the way we went about our business in the tournament.
“Retaining the title was never going to be easy. It was going to take a huge effort and everybody was up for that.”
Despite the disappointing end to the campaign, Gibson said there had been several positives over that last few weeks, the chief of which was the exceptional unity in the team.
He said every player had backed each other and it had led to a gelling of the side.
“The coming together of men for one cause, that was the biggest thing. It’s not always easy to get us to come together for one cause,” he pointed out.
“In 2012 we did and again here – guys getting together, guys putting their heads together, guys coming up with solid plans, backing each other and supporting each other; [it] was  absolutely outstanding.
“If we can harness that and continue to do that, not just for tournaments but consistently, I think that is where our true potential as a team will be measured.” (CMC)

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