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July 11, 2009
West Indies opener Omar Phillips - who made a solid 94 - rued missing a century on debut on the third day in Kingstown, and acknowledged he had missed one of the easiest opportunities to reach triple-figures in international cricket. "It was one of the easiest hundreds you will ever get at this level and I was really disappointed," Phillips said at the end of the day's play. "The hundred was in the bag for the taking but that's the way cricket plays, to carry on from here is the hardest step because the next innings starts from zero."
Phillips' innings had laid a strong foundation for a sizable lead before Bangladesh struck back to limit the damage to 69 runs. Fast bowler Rubel Hossain and offspinner Mahmudullah - both on debut - grabbed three wickets each to undermine a strong batting effort early in the day from the hosts. Phillips displayed sound technique and determination in his 177-ball knock which included seven boundaries, and was supported well by nightwatchman Ryan Austin in a dogged stand of 79. He then proceeded to add 48 for the third wicket with Travis Dowlin, and left his team in a position of control when he was dismissed with the score on 176.
His departure for 94, when he played a loose shot off Rubel to short cover, Phillips said, was a consequence of a change in tactics after he had reached the 90s. "I changed my game plan a little going into the 90s, you always hear talk about the nervous 90s but I should have continued the way I was going at the time," he said.
Phillips, who represents Combined Campuses and Colleges in the domestic circuit, also said that his achievement would bode well for his first-class team. "It sends a good message to the public that you don't necessarily need to represent your country, you can play for CCC which is a team of a lot youngsters around the Caribbean and you can also play cricket and further your education which is a good thing."
The teams ended the third day on almost even terms, and though West Indies still retain a lead of 43 going into the fourth day, they will be wary of the fact that they'll be batting last on a turning track against an opposition whose main strength is spin.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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