'We are playing our best cricket for a while'
With the one-day series safely in the bag, Pakistan are now eyeing victory in the Test series against West Indies. Speaking to the media after Pakistan's comfortable 40-run win the second match in St Lucia, Younis Khan, who led the team in the field after Inzmam-ul-Haq was injured during batting, said: "We've never won a Test series here, so it's my golden chance. We are playing our best cricket for a while." Younis will captain the side in the first Test, as Inzamam will be serving a one-match suspension.
Younis also said that the tours of Australia and India had helped toughen the team. "I think the tough tours to Australia and India have helped us gel as a team and believe in ourselves," the BBC website quoted him as saying. "Those tours were a turning point for us."
Shoaib Malik, who won the Man-of-the-Match award for scoring 51 and bowling ten overs of tidy offspin, reckoned that Pakistan's total of 258 was below par. "In my opinion, the score was a little short - it was a 270-plus [wicket] - but if you work hard in bowling, then you can manage." Pakistan, who came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat India 4-2 in the ODI series last month, have now won six one-dayers in a row.
For West Indies, on the other hand, it was another disappointing defeat, their eighth consecutive one, which equalled their worst run - they had been beaten eight times in a row in 1999-2000, when they lost three matches in Sharjah and then five in New Zealand. (click here for more details.) Shivnarine Chanderpaul, their captain, blamed the defeat on the batsmen. "Obviously the batting has been letting us down in most of the games and we need to pick it up," he said. "Our experienced batsmen need to take on the responsibility and do the job." He was encouraged, though, by the presence of David Scott, the performance-enhancement specialist who has come down to see the last two matches of the series. "It gives us an opportunity to talk to him and see if there is anything he can provide to help us approach the mental side of cricket."
West Indies play the last match of the series at the same venue today (Sunday, May 22), after which the two teams will be involved in a two-Test series.