Great start! CANBERRA, Australia, CMC: West Indies captain Chris Gayle says his side's crushing warm-up win on Thursday was an ideal start to their one-day tour and augured well for the upcoming series against Australia.
Propelled by Gayle's whirlwind 146 from a mere 89 balls, West Indies completed a convincing 90-run over the Matthew Hayden-led Prime Minister's XI at the Manuka Oval.
"This was a great start to the tour for us. This is what we wanted. We got a good pitch to play on and the players responded very well," an elated Gayle said.
"I enjoyed my time out in the middle and I am also happy that some of the other players, such as Travis Dowlin and Lendl Simmons, also got good scores.
"We batted all the way down as well, so overall we are happy with the performance."
The right-handed Dowlin batted brilliantly to score 72 off 85 balls while Simmons looked a class act with 70 not out off just 49 balls, as West Indies piled up a massive 399 for five in a game reduced to 45 overs.
three for 51
In response, left-arm spinner Nikita Miller took two wickets with consecutive balls to end with three for 51, while medium pacer Darren Sammy finished with two for 37 to restrict the hosts to 312 for seven off their allotted overs.
Twenty-three-year-old Tom Cooper batted through the innings to make an unbeaten 160 and share the Man-of-the-Match award with Gayle.
"In the bowling, everyone got a feel. We did not want to give any one bowler too much work," Gayle pointed out.
"We tried to let everyone get an opportunity and, as a precaution, we did not want anyone to have a heavy workload."
The match is the only official warm-up before West Indies face Australia in five one-day internationals starting Sunday (tonight Caribbean time) in Melbourne.
Gayle said with the win under their belts, they would now build on this over the next few days for the opening game.
"Overall, as a team we know we still have some work to do in the build-up to the first one-day international, so we have a few more days to go where we will put in some more work in the nets so we can be fully ready to face Australia on Sunday," the easygoing Jamaican said.
Meanwhile, Barbados chief selector Courtney Browne has hailed the move to appoint Ottis Gibson as West Indies coach, and says the Caribbean will benefit from his experience and competence.
The 40-year-old Gibson was named by the West Indies Cricket Board on Monday to succeed Australian John Dyson in the top regional coaching spot.
"It's good to see that we have somebody in the Caribbean now who have been around an international setup for a while," said Browne, the former West Indies wicketkeeper who played 20 Tests and 45 one-day internationals between 1995 and 2005.
"Not only that but Ottis' background has been in coaching development as well. He is the guy who used to set a lot of the programmes for English coaching at the Level Three and Level Four programmes.
"Ottis is really the guy who really sat down and wrote these programmes and implemented them."