Variation in pace works for Narine
Sunil Narine, who took four wickets to set up West Indies' 37-run win against Pakistan in the second ODI in Guyana, said that a variation in pace had helped him succeed after a poor outing in the first match. Narine dismissed Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez, and took two more wickets to finish with his fourth four-wicket haul and his second best performance in ODIs, conceding 26 runs in ten overs.
"I just bowled a little quicker because on this pitch some were staying low and some were bouncing, so it was not an easy pitch," Narine said after the match.
He said he had not yet regained full fitness after suffering a finger injury on his bowling hand during the tri-series game against India in Port-of-Spain. "My finger is 90% okay," Narine said.
West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo was happy with manner in which his team had responded to pressure coming in to the game and said that their pre-match strategies had worked well.
"We lost the toss and were sent in to bat, which is something we wanted to do. I wanted a change," Bravo said. "I wanted the batters to go in there and free themselves, and score without pressure; that change in momentum worked for us.
"We lost Chris Gayle early, but the innings my younger brother (Darren Bravo) played with Johnson Charles laid the foundation for us. We know we bat very deep and we have a good lower order. It was not a 250-260 wicket. Our aim was to try and get 235. We knew we had the bowling attack to restrict Pakistan on that sort of wicket, which will play slow and low as the game progresses."
Bravo praised Charles, who kept wicket in the first two ODIs after Denesh Ramdin was dropped from the side. "With Johnson playing that role (wicketkeeper-batsman), it gave us an opportunity to lengthen our batting," He said. "We know our batting has been a bit on the shaky side and inconsistent. Unfortunately, our best wicketkeeper Ramdin was out but he still has a big part to play in West Indies cricket and one-day cricket for us. But so far, Johnno has been doing a fantastic job."
Pakistan's batting failed again and their captain Misbah-ul-Haq said that poor shot selection was a major factor for the loss.
"It [target of 233] was a good total on this pitch. I got the feeling that it got slower and slower and it got turn, so credit to them, they bowled well," Misbah said. "There was not much difference in the pitch between the innings, but I think they handled the bowlers better. For us, it was wrong shot selection and we kept losing wickets at the wrong time during the chase. We have been winning games while chasing - we won in South Africa that way - but today, we just played some bad shots."
With the series level at 1-1 and the next three games scheduled in St Lucia, Bravo said he expected a tougher contest because the conditions would favour both sides.
"I expect three hard games in St Lucia," Bravo said. "Hopefully, it will be a better batting wicket and the ball will come onto the bat, which will suit our batters. The conditions will suit both teams, as they are similar. I guess whichever team plays better on the day will win. I would encourage my team to stay focused."