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November 6, 2005
West Indies entered the first Test with plans to surprise the doubters expecting a clean sweep of losses, but they experienced a painfully familiar feeling when a dreadful collapse led to a depressing defeat. Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the captain who struggled initially to answer questions about the 379-run thrashing, leads a side that has become expert in these situations and said this result was "probably the worst".
Chasing a mammoth 509 for the unlikeliest of victories, West Indies were a comfortable 2 for 85 before tumbling to 129 all out following their first-innings 210. "Everyone in the dressing-room knows we can do better and it's probably the worst we have had so far," Chanderpaul said. "For a wicket like that, with our line up, we should have got more runs."
The West Indies batting was boosted by a strong performance in the lead-up match against Queensland, but only Devon Smith reached 40 in a match swamped by ill-disciplined shot-making against probing opponents. Finding ways to counter Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne will act as first priorities as they prepare for the second Test in Hobart starting on November 17, and a method must also be devised to counter Brett Lee after his five wickets today.
"We had a good start in the first innings and then we just collapsed," he said. "There's been a trend in the second innings of collapsing but hopefully these things will change and we get it right next time. Young guys are still learning but whenever Brian [Lara], myself, [Ramnaresh] Sarwan or Chris [Gayle] get out it's a big blow for us."
On West Indies' last tour, Australia won the opening match of the series by an innings and 126 runs and the tourists slumped to a 5-0 result. Only two Tests remain on this trip and Chanderpaul will use the three-day match against Victoria this week to trial new combinations. "Everybody came into this game full of confidence, everybody expected us to do well and everybody is disappointed with our performance," he said. "We have to pick ourselves up, keep our heads up and go out and play tough cricket."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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