Coley urges intensity as WI eye historic series win
POTCHEFSTROOM, South Africa (CMC):
West Indies are buoyed by the prospect of their first series win over South Africa in three decades, and interim head coach Andre Coley has urged his side for continued intensity in the final One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series, which bowls off here today.
The Caribbean side were excellent in the second ODI in East London last weekend, producing a strong all-round performance to take down the Proteas by 48 runs at Buffalo Park.
With the opener rained off last Thursday, the final game will serve as a series decider, with West Indies in touching distance of their first series win over South Africa since the inaugural 1992 series between the two teams in the Caribbean.
“Every game brings new possibilities. We’re in a very good space mentally, and we’re happy with our preparation,” Coley told reporters yesterday.
“And we’re really just looking at making sure we’re ready for this game. The conditions, we’ll obviously have to work that out and work out what is the best approach, but we’ve been taking it on a match-by-match basis.
“We’re in a good space. We’ve had good plans, and everybody is just looking forward to playing this second ODI with the possibilities that are in front of us.”
He added: “There are always going to be areas that you can point [to] for improvement, but we’re just looking for a new start – a fresh start – and to be better all-round.”
While praising West Indies’ 335 for eight in East London, Coley urged his batsmen to build on their starts. Only Shai Hope, in his first game as captain, carried on with an unbeaten 128 – his 14th ODI hundred.
Rovman Powell (46), former captain Nicholas Pooran (39) and openers Kyle Mayers (36) and Brandon King (30) all got starts but failed to carry on.
“Obviously, it was satisfying, firstly, getting a total of 300-plus … obviously on the back of Shai’s hundred batting through the innings,” Coley pointed out.
“Obviously, we had significant partnerships, [but] it would still have been good to see more batters go on from the starts, but [there were] very encouraging signs nonetheless.”
In pursuit of their highest ever target against West Indies, South Africa got away quickly to be 184 for two at the half-way stage of the innings, before fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein hauled their side back into the contest with three-wicket hauls.
But leg-spinner Yannic Cariah went at nine runs per over and fast bowler Odean Smith, eight runs per over, and Coley said the team would be striving for an improved bowling effort overall.
“Obviously, we were put under pressure quite early, and I thought we responded quite well,” the Jamaican said.
“Kyle, for instance, [getting] that key wicket of Quinton (de Kock) and he was going really well for them, and obviously, that opened a door for us.
“As the innings progressed, we were able to respond and in the end we ended up with a comfortable win, I thought.”
The third ODI bowls off at 10 a.m. (3 a.m. Jamaica time).
WEST INDIES – Shai Hope (captain), Rovman Powell, Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith