July 21, 2000

Stewart confident for Saturday

Alec Stewart
Alec Stewart - disappointed but confident
Photo © AllSport

England's last over defeat at the hands of West Indies in the NatWest Series match at Trent Bridge was disappointing but has not affected confidence levels ahead of the final against Zimbabwe at Lord's on Saturday, says Alec Stewart.

Stewart, who was unbeaten on 100 at the non-striker's end as three wickets fell in Chris Gayle's last over, admitted England were "disappointed but not down" about the three-run defeat.

NatWest Series

"It is disappointing," said Stewart who recorded his second century in three days after his 101 against Zimbabwe at Edgbaston.

"I would say 85% of what we did today was good but when you get as close as that, and we got into a winning position, it is disappointing.

Give credit to West Indies

"If we can improve just a little bit more on Saturday - and we've played well in this tournament so far - then hopefully we can lift the trophy on Saturday night.

"You have got to give credit to the West Indies. They bowled very well up front and the lad Chris Gayle bowled an exceptional over. He bowled it full, straight and quick.

"It's not easy when you are nine, 10 and 11 just to come in and get a single or a two and unfortunately we couldn't do it.

"I know we got it down to 12 off 18 balls which is a winning position and they bowled and fielded well and perhaps I didn't get as much strike and I know I only faced one ball in the last over.

Adams was brave and right to trust Gayle

"I thought their captain Jimmy Adams was brave in the way he left Gayle for the last over. It was the right thing to do because he had to try and win it before the last over and then he came up with the goods.

"But although we are disappointed to have lost, we are in the final. We wanted to go through with four wins on the trot.

"We didn't quite manage that but there were a lot of positives to come out of it. Paul Franks did well on his debut and will be a better player for a taste of international cricket.

"We have just got to take some positives out of the game. We are disappointed that we have lost - but we are not down and the bottom line is that we are in the final and we qualified before this game."

Stewart admitted: "I've had a good spell with three good innings on the bounce. It's nice I'm playing well but also good that the team is playing well.

"We slipped up at the end today but we are in that final and let's make sure we turn in a very good performance."

Adams: better late than never

West Indies skipper Adams said: "It was nice for us to get a win better late than never in this competition even though I thought we were 30 runs short of what was an ideal total.

"It is nice to break a losing sequence in any form of cricket and will give us a boost ahead of resuming the Test series with England."