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'I just went out there and backed myself'

Published:Sunday | June 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM

SOUTHAMPTON, England:

Dwayne Smith said he would use every opportunity given to try to prove himself and secure a steady place in the West Indies team.

The Windies all-rounder said he relished the chance of opening the batting for the Caribbean side in the first one-day international against England yesterday.

Smith struck half-dozen fours and a pair of sixes in 56 from 44 balls, but it failed to ignite the West Indies batting and they unsuccessfully chased 287 from a rain-reduced 48 overs before a capacity crowd at the Ageas Bowl.

The 29-year-old Smith was promoted to open with Lendl Simmons after talismanic opener Chris Gayle was sidelined with an injury to his left shin.

"I started opening the batting in the last few years in Twenty20s, so this was nothing totally strange for me," he said.

"I just went out there and backed myself. I know the areas in which I can score and I just waited on them to make the mistakes.

"As I've gotten older, I really understand my own game better now, so I go out there and be free and play each ball as it comes."

Smith looked in command, taking the Windies to 95 for one in the 16th over during a 70-run, second-wicket stand with Denesh Ramdin. But he was caught behind off Tim Bresnan, triggering a collapse that saw the visitors lose nine wickets for 77 in the space of 18 overs - and were all out for 172 in 33.4 overs.

"We had to spend time at the crease and that didn't happen," said Smith. "It didn't happen for us, so we've just got to rebuild for the next game.

"The boys will be up for it for the next game and we just need to move on from here. We can't worry about this now."