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|Windies eyeing first clean sweep in ten years|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2012 21:36|
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Inspired by the dream of a series sweep, West Indies will be gunning for another win against New Zealand when the second and final Test bowls off at Sabina Park here today.
The regional side took a 1-0 lead in the series when they crushed the Black Caps by nine wickets in the opening Test in St John’s last week.
Captain Darren Sammy told reporters here yesterday his side would not be easing up the pressure as they sought to end the series on a high note.
“One-nil is only halfway there; we’re thinking 2-0. We want to win here. If we can’t get a win we would settle for a draw, but we go into this match looking for another win ... been a long time since we last won two Test matches in a row,” Sammy said.
“The pitch here is supposed to be quicker than over in Antigua. Jamaica normally has some pace and bounce, so we know what to expect. Normally the pitch has early moisture.”
He continued: “Winning is important for any team. For us, it doesn’t come around that often; we have to make sure that when we are in a position to win we take it.
“To win this Test series would be great for us and for the people who support us and who believe in us.”
West Indies swept the T20 doubleheader in Florida before going on to dominate the Kiwis 4-1 in the five-match ODI series.
But while they stand on the verge of a significant achievement, West Indies will be cognisant they have not won a series in a clean sweep since they trounced Bangladesh in a two-match rubber in Dhaka ten years ago.
Additionally, they have not beaten New Zealand in a series in 16 years and Sammy warned against complacence heading into the contest over the next few days.
“We are playing against an international team. We won’t take them for granted. We won’t be complacent. They have some good players in their line-up and although we’re confident we won’t go into the match thinking we can just roll them over,” Sammy said.
“We know this is a Test match and in this format of the game you have to make sure you stay focused on the job at all time. It’s a good feeling when you’re winning. I remember the feeling we had in the T20s and in the ODIs ... so it’s a feeling we want to keep in our dressing room.”
Reflecting on the first Test win, Sammy said he was pleased with the way his batsmen had handled themselves especially since prolific left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul failed to score.
West Indies amassed 522 in their first innings behind centuries from opener Chris Gayle and Kieran Powell, who put on 254.
“It’s always good when your top-order fires. When you get a 200-run partnership for the first wicket, that is sure to do the team a world of good,” Sammy pointed out.
“Everyone is looking to perform. We are in a good frame of mind. We are winning the key moments in the matches. The work we have put in over the last year or two is finally coming together.”
West Indies have made one change from the first Test, with speedster Fidel Edwards replacing injured pacer Ravi Rampaul.
New Zealand, meanwhile, will be without veteran left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori who has been ruled out with a groin injury.
WEST INDIES – Darren Sammy (captain), Denesh Ramdin (vice-captain), Adrian Barath, Tino Best, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Fidel Edwards, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels.
NEW ZEALAND – Ross Taylor (captain), Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Dean Brownlie, Kruger van Wyk, Doug Bracewell, Neil Wagner, Chris Martin, Trent Boult, Tarun Nethula, BJ Watling, Mark Gillespie, Tim Southee.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 21:38|
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