3rd ODI: WI coach ready for final, England captain banks on momentum

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 4, 2014, 11:53 AM IST
3rd ODI: WI coach ready for final, England captain banks on momentum

West Indies won the first ODI by 15 runs before England came back through Ravi Bopara's heroics to win at Antigua by 3 wickets and level the series, which has turned the third ODI on Wednesday into a series-decider.

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson is looking at it as a 'World Cup final' while England captain Stuart Broad believes his team is high on 'confidence' and the 'momentum' from the last game should take them through to a series win.

"We're building towards the 2015 World Cup and we've got to look at this game as such. This could be the World Cup final for us so we've to get our 'final faces' on... and come out Wednesday and approach it in that way," Gibson said.

"We're one game away from winning a series against a team ranked higher than us, which is a good achievement, so there's all to play for and hopefully the guys are up for it Wednesday," the Windies coach added.

West Indies were always up against it on Sunday after they were dismissed for 159 off 44.2 overs, following England's decision to bowl. Only Lendl Simmons with a top score of 70 got past 20, as the West Indies batting struggled for the second straight game.

Simmons' half-century followed up his 65 in Friday's first ODI and Gibson singled him out for praise. "He has played very well. He's done the job and it has always been sort of a restoration job trying to repair the damage that's been done at the top," Gibson noted.

"He usually opens but is batting in the middle order and he's really holding the innings up as he showed in the last two games. They've been two really good innings. He will look at it and think he could've turned one of those fifties into a hundred, and that would have given us 220 runs [in the second ODI] and the story would have been different."

West Indies scented victory in the second ODI when they reduced England to 105 for 7 thanks to two-wicket hauls from left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and seamer Dwayne Bravo. But the experience of Bopara (38 not out) and captain Stuart Broad (28 not out) saw the visitors home.

Broad believes England's nervy win in second one-day international on Sunday has given them the impetus to complete a series triumph.

"Winning close game gives the guys confidence and belief. We've lacked that and I think that showed in the middle overs when we lost those four quick wickets. But we should take a lot from winning the game," Broad said.

"Confidence will be high and momentum is obviously with us [going into the final ODI], and if we do what we did with the ball on Sunday, we'll stand a fantastic chance because we looked really hard to score off and we squeezed them," the England skipper added.

England spinners were outstanding in the game at North Sound with left-arm spinner Stephen Parry taking 3 for 32 on debut and offspinner James Tredwell 2 for 39.

(With inputs from IANS)

First Published: March 4, 2014, 11:53 AM IST

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