London, May 18 (IANS/CMC) West Indies’ head coach Ottis Gibson has praised the team’s batting effort but conceded that the side had lost too many wickets on the opening day of the first Test against England here Thursday.
Sent in at Lord’s, West Indies finished the day on 243 for nine, thanks to an unbeaten 87 from veteran left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Opener Adrian Barath found some form with a stroke-filled 42 while Marlon Samuels got 31 and Darren Bravo 29.
“(It was a) tough day sort of. We battled hard to 240-odd. That’s not a bad score for us but maybe a couple of wickets too many,” Gibson said afterward.
“Two hundred and forty-three for four or five would have been an excellent day but 243 for nine we’ve lost a few too many, let’s be honest. At the same time we’ve got our 243 on the board and it’s important that we try and eke out a few more tomorrow.
“We’ve played four seamers and if conditions stay like this (overcast) overhead, the pitch may stay the same for two or three more days and our four seamers may be able to do some damage.”
West Indies slipped to 32 for two after opener Kieran Powell (5) and vice-captain Kirk Edwards (1) fell cheaply but Barath and Bravo repaired the innings with a 54-run, third wicket stand.
When both batsmen were out in quick succession to leave the Windies on 100 for four, Chanderpaul and Samuels combined in an important 81-run, fifth wicket partnership which revived the innings.
Bravo’s tragic run out was a big blow for West Indies especially with the gifted left-hander unfazed by England’s attack.
He took off for a sharp single after Chanderpaul turned off-spinner Graeme Swann square but then found himself stranded at the striker’s end with Chanderpaul after his senior partner changed his mind about the run.
“You never like to see run outs in Test match cricket and that run out hurt us a little bit because Brav was starting to look set and look really good and Shiv and Brav are the two form players in our line up,” Gibson lamented.
However, he praised Chanderpaul’s contribution which saw the 37-year-old batsman overtake Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar as the ninth-highest run-scorer in history with 10 142 runs.
“To get our youngsters to learn from him is something we’ve started to major on,” said Gibson.
“He’s spending a lot of time working especially with our young left-handers and the way that he goes about his preparation is something that we all should be looking to learn from.”