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May 28, 2008
John Dyson, the West Indies coach, has said the gap between his team and Australia has become narrower after a closely-fought first Test in Jamaica, which Australia won by 95 runs.
Having trailed on the first innings by 119, West Indies were in with a fighting chance of winning after dismissing the visitors for 167 in their second innings - their lowest total in a completed innings in Tests since being dismissed for 93 by India in Mumbai in 2004. But the final target of 287 was beyond West Indies.
"It's made us realise that they (Australia) are human, and they can falter," Dyson said as West Indies arrived in Antigua for the second Test starting on Friday. "So if we can apply enough pressure at the right time and continue doing the good things that we can do, they might falter just enough to give us that opening.
"I don't think in this match there has been such a vast difference between the two teams that I'll walk away from here saying it's not possible for West Indies to win. If we could just improve on a couple of areas, we'll put on another good show in Antigua."
Dyson, however, saw much to encourage him over the course of the game, especially in the bowling where Fidel Edwards, in the absence of the injured Jerome Taylor, excelled with his pace and control to take eight for 144 in the match.
"We talk constantly about putting enough balls in the right areas," Dyson said. "I think we saw in this game, particularly the opening spell in the second innings, we put perfect amount of balls in the right areas.
"I think Shiv (Chanderpaul) played exceptionally well as we expect from him. I think Runako Morton in the first innings fought really hard. Devon Smith showed again that he's quite capable of performing. It's just a pity that he didn't convert both of his starts or one of them at least into a big score."
Dyson also had good words for Denesh Ramdin, the wicketkeeper. "Denesh Ramdin again kept beautifully. I haven't seen him have a bad game behind the stumps and he showed in the second innings, yes, he is capable of batting."
Dyson also took note of the work of the allrounder Darren Sammy, who he thought bowled with great control in both innings and also batted well in the second innings for his 35.
© Trinidad & Tobago Express
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