WI can beat England, says Mohammed
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Jason Mohammed believes West Indies have sent a strong signal to their detractors they can compete against world class sides like England, despite their defeat in the opening One-Day International of the three-match series.
The 30-year-old right-hander was the standout performer at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium here with a maiden ODI half-century as West Indies went down by 45 runs in the encounter on Friday after being asked to chase 297 for victory.
"I thought we played a very good game of cricket," the Trinidadian told reporters.
"I know probably not much people gave us a chance before this game but I think we played really well and showed that as a young team coming in, that we can compete with England and most importantly, we can win games."
The second One-Day International will be played today, starting at 8:30 a.m. (Jamaica time).
England captain Eoin Morgan stroked an excellent 107 to rally his side, after fast bowler Shannon Gabriel had stunned the visitors with two early strikes to leave them on 29 for two in the eighth over.
In reply, West Indies fought back from 39 for three in the 12th over courtesy of Mohammed's top score of 72 off 91 balls.
He put on 69 for the fourth wicket with Shai Hope (31) and a further 82 for the fifth wicket with Carter, to steer West Indies to 190 for four in the 39th over.
But once Carter perished in the deep, the innings lost energy, and the Windies were all out for 251 in the 48th over.
Mohammed, who was seventh out in the 42nd over, said losing Hope and Carter had been the turning point in the run chase especially since the lower order failed to fire.
"We were in the game right through. I think with myself and Shai and then Carter, we had a really good partnership and then losing the both of them kind of pulled back the momentum ... so that was the changing point in our chase," Mohammed explained.
"I think we had a good chance at chasing but the two guys (Hope and Carter) coming and getting out and then our power-hitters - the captain (Jason Holder) and Carlos (Brathwaite) - didn't get off so I think that was a crucial part in the game."
The personal achievement for Mohammed came in only his third ODI and his first international appearance in two years, and he said he was still feeling in good nick from last month's Regional Super50.
"We just came off our regional tournament and I had a very good one. [I was] coming in here with a lot of confidence knowing I had some good form and some good innings behind me," the Trinidadian said.
"But they are world class bowlers and it was always going to be a tough job but I think I played pretty well in the end and that's the reason I got 50-odd."