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Sammy surprised by turn and bounce

GROS ISLET, St Lucia: Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, has said he was “surprised to see the pitch offer so much turn and bounce” after his team lost the first ODI against Pakistan at his home ground here on Saturday.

West Indies had a poorly balanced attack for the surface, with only one specialist spinner in Devendra Bishoo, and they managed to take only two Pakistan wickets in 41.3 overs.

Sammy, however, focused on the failures of the West Indies batsmen to post a challenging total. They were restricted to 221 for 6 in 50 overs. “We put ourselves in a hole when we were batting, and the spinners were bowling, so we really have to come better in the next game,” he said. “We may need to show more intent in our approach.

“We have a new batting coach, and he has been doing some good work, but we can’t lose sight of us reaching 221 coming from our position in the middle of the innings, so hopefully we can improve on this next time.”

Pakistan’s spinners deprived the West Indian innings of momentum, with Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez bowling 30 overs for just 100 runs and picking up two wickets. Ajmal took 1 for 25 while Hafeez claimed 1 for 36. “I was very happy when West Indies won the toss and chose to bat because I thought the pitch would help our spinners,” Afridi said. “I think our spinners have been doing a great job for us in the last few months, and they again set things up for us.”

The one West Indian batsman who had a satisfactory match was Darren Bravo, but he said he wanted to score faster.

“I wasn’t as fluent as I would have liked. There was a lot of spin and I wasn’t able to rotate the strike the way I’m accustomed,” Bravo said.