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December 13, 2013
'Hell of a fight to level series now' - Sammy
Darren Sammy has been involved in his fair share of West Indies batting collapses, but his team's third-day demise in Wellington caught even him off guard.
Barely 72 hours after he had not been able to wipe the smile from his face on winning the toss, he was left to the survey the scene of West Indies' third innings defeat in four matches. His contribution to the clatter of 16 wickets on the third day was a pair; in the first innings he was bowled the delivery after having a problem with his eye and in the second there was a forlorn feeling about his call for the DRS.
Sammy admitted the batting was not up to international standard, but although the double collapse gave the Test a rapid conclusion, he added that it was the performance with the ball, where they let New Zealand make 441 on a green pitch, that had sown the seeds of what was to follow. New Zealand's bowlers did as much right as West Indies' had done wrong.
"I though as a team we left Dunedin with confidence, especially the way we played to save the Test," he said. "To come down here and lose 16 wickets in a day is very disappointing. The first Test we batted well in the second innings, this Test we barely faced 100 overs which is not good for any international side.
"I think we've had the better part of the pitch on both occasions, good conditions to bowl. Credit must go to the New Zealand bowlers, especially Trent Boult. The way he exploited the conditions is something as a bowling group we've not been able to do here.
"If you look at our pitch maps we will probably be scattered all over the place. If I look at the New Zealand bowlers they'll be hitting that fuller, six-meter length more often than us which is where you tend to create most chances. Neither did we did not back the bowlers up in the field with some costly dropped catches."
The result, and the manner of it, will not come as a shock to the fans who remain loyal to this team. So often any morsel of hope, such as Darren Bravo's fighting double hundred in Dunedin, has been followed by a sharp reminder of why they languish in the bottom half of the Test rankings.
"I guess we've found ourselves in these situations a few times," Sammy said. "I believe we have the mettle in the dressing room to come back and keep remaining hungry because we value the fans back home.
"They're up late, or early in the morning, watching us," he added, perhaps forgetting there is no mainstream TV coverage of this series in the Caribbean. "We've got to give them something to shout about. Christmas time is soon around the corner. It's a time to be jolly so we've got to go down to Hamilton and give them a little Christmas gift."
Sammy gave a strong indication that the spinner Sunil Narine, who West Indies had been keen to play here, would come into the side for Hamilton. "So far, we've got two grassy tops and we've not been able to get the wickets," Sammy said. But never mind a Christmas gift, it might need a Christmas miracle for West Indies to level the series.
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Andrew McGlashan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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