Providence, Guyana, May 17: The West Indies cricket team is on cloud nine and are in high spirits after inflicting a 40-run win over Pakistan. The result which marks the Windies' first Test victory since early 2009, couldn't have come at a better time, especially since the lead-up to the test was fraught with controversies. Captain Darren Sammy came in for much flak due to his poor form and there had been a falling out between major players and the board which in turn led to the absence of some of those players.
"We as a team needed this performance," Sammy, who ensnared a five-wicket haul in the second innings to shoot out Pakistan for 178, said. "Lately, things hadn't been going well but I had the belief, this team had the belief."
Sammy flopped as a batsman, but wrapped up the game with seven wickets. Two other performances who made quite an impression were Devendra Bishoo in his debut Test and Ravi Rampaul, who had taken only four wickets in five Tests prior to the match, but took seven in the game."Rampaul looks fit, and has worked really hard with Ottis Gibson [the West Indies coach]. It was a tough decision to pick between him and Fidel Edwards," Sammy said.
A glowing Sammy lauded his batsman for doing their darnedest to negotiate a tricky pitch in both innings. "It was a difficult pitch. We found ourselves not playing the spin too well. But I commend the guys for the effort, they batted out time and put in a total which in the end was enough to get the victory."
Pakistan were 80/3 overnight, chasing 219, but lost Asad Shafiq early on the fourth day. Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, and Umar Akmal put together a half-century stand but there wasn't much support from the lower order against an upbeat West Indies performance. Misbah acknowledged the more cohesive team had won.
"To lose this Test is disappointing, they played better cricket and bowled disciplined lines," he said. Misbah lavished praise on Saeed Ajmal for his maiden ten-wicket haul in Tests - Ajmal finished with 11 - but regretted missed opportunities and allowing the last-wicket pair of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Devendra Bishoo to extend the lead to 218 in the second innings.
"We dropped so many catches and gave away so many runs to the lower order. We were a little disappointing from the batting point of view also," Misbah said.
The second Test between these two sides begins at St Kitts on May 20.