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March 25, 2008
John Dyson, the West Indies coach, believes a record-breaking chase of 437 is possible for the hosts as they dream of a 1-0 lead in the series with Sri Lanka. West Indies chopped 96 from the target for the loss of Devon Smith as Dwayne Bravo, the stand-in opener, and Ramnaresh Sarwan combined for a 74-run stand.
"We will wait and see what happens [on the final morning] and see how things pan out," Dyson said. "History says that it is possible to get a total like that and it has been done in the West Indies before so you never put that totally out of the question. I think all teams these days look to win wherever possible and if the opportunity to win comes along then we will look to take it."
Chris Gayle, the captain, dropped to No. 4 so he could employ the attacking instincts of Bravo and the move has been a success so far. "Chris felt that it was a good chance to have a change in this innings," Dyson said. "He feels that Bravo is a very positive player and also having a left-hand, right-hand opening combination in this innings was something we were thinking about."
Dyson was impressed with the returns of Bravo, who was 46, and Sarwan (34). "They handled the last session very, very well," he said. The coach said the surface remained a "batsman's paradise" although the Sri Lankans believe it is tricky for run-scoring.
Another strong performance came from the left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who picked up 3 for 59 before Sri Lanka declared at 240 for 7. "I thought he bowled very, very well for his first Test," Dyson said. "He came in, maintained a good line, a good length, he didn't give away very many easy runs at all, and I was really pleased.
"I felt sorry for him that he didn't take a wicket in the first innings, although there was one opportunity missed form his bowling. I was pleased that he has come out there again and bowled pretty well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.