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Friday 13 December 2019
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Oval defeat a 'speed bump'

WI coach optimistic after 2

West Indies batsman Evin Lewis hits a sweep shot during the one-day match against India at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, yesterday. NICHOLAS BHAJAN/CA-images
West Indies batsman Evin Lewis hits a sweep shot during the one-day match against India at the Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, yesterday. NICHOLAS BHAJAN/CA-images

Interim head coach of the West Indies, Floyd Reifer, has described the one-day international loss to India as a "speed bump," following a 59-run Duckworth-Lewis method defeat at the Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. The Windies restricted India to 279 for seven in 50 but collapsed from 148 for three to 210 all out in 42 overs, in a rain-affected match that lost them four overs.

The Windies were ahead of the run rate, however, and looked like chasing the competitive score with Evin Lewis (65 from 80) and Nicolas Pooran (42 off 52) comfortable in the crease. However, poor shot selection and a lack of maturity in the wicket cost the maroon outfit once more, something Reifer admitted has carried over with players like Shimron Hetmyer from the recent dismal display at the ICC World Cup.

"We got to continue to learn from this experience. Guys in the middle-order got to show a little bit more fight, a bit more grit and more determination to build those longer partnerships. Again, we were in front of the game today and we just found a way to give away our wickets. It's just a matter for us now to learn from our mistakes, dig deeper and work harder from the stressful positions we put ourselves in," he lamented.

With the first clash rained out and one more left on Wednesday at the same venue to even the three-match series, he remained optimistic.

"It's not an uphill task. We're building ourselves again and when you're building your side you get speed bumps along the way. It's [about] how you bounce back from those speed bumps so later this evening we'll assess the things we need to do better in the next game."

Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar took four for 31 and pointed to Pooran's exit, thanks to another rash shot, as the turning point for India. While Reifer confessed the batting needed work, he did praise the bowling and fielding. "I thought the bowlers bowled very well. Guys bowled lines and lengths and variations. I thought Carlos Brathwaite (three for 53 from eight overs) bowled really well today. Roston Chase (one for 37 from ten overs) had a really good spell. All the bowlers chipped in. Cottrell (one for 49 from ten overs again was a champion...I thought the fielding was up to par as well, but we can improve some more."

He also heaped praise on Lewis, confirming his ankle twist isn't as bad as initially assumed and that he should be fit for Wednesday's decider.

"Evin did well. He's been doing a lot of work in the nets. The last couple of days we worked on his high position and getting his head behind the ball more and you can see the results. He's getting consistent with the bat."

The coach concluded by also commending Chris Gayle on being the first West Indian to reach 300 one-day caps and for also breaking Brian Lara's record as the region's leading ODI scorer with 10,353 runs.

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