Sport

Kiwis focused - Team eyeing Sabina Park triumph

Shiv hails Windies’ effort in 1st Test

BY HURBUN WILLIAMS Observer writer

Wednesday, August 01, 2012    

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NEW Zealand must first try to win their next Test match against the West Indies before they can consider a draw, said left-arm seamer Neil Wagner in a brief chat with reporters at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston yesterday.

"This is a very young team on international duty for the first time, and away from home we will have to adapt early to the local conditions and play with the level of determination and commitment to match the high standards we set for ourselves," Wagner added.

"We, therefore, have to apply ourselves really well and accept the chances that come our way. Our main objective must be to win this Test, with a draw as a second option," he said.

"We dropped Chris Gayle and paid the penalty. He is a class player who does not give many chances and when he does give one, it has to be accepted," Wagner asserted.

The New Zealander said changes to the team are not a consideration at this time and he is looking forward to a more determined team effort this time around.

"We applied ourselves only in patches in the first Test but should do much better in the second, as the players are responding much better to local conditions," he confirmed.

Meanwhile, having failed to score after a first-ball duck in the West Indies' first innings in Antigua, former West Indies captain and No 4-ranked Test batsman in the world, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, described their latest triumph as a "great team effort... they have done a fantastic job".

"The last couple of series we have been playing well, but without much luck. That would not have continued indefinitely and the latest win is, therefore, a fitting result for improving as we go along," Chanderpaul added.

"Every game of cricket is a new game and for further successes we have to go out there and continue to play well," he said.

Asked about how it felt to be atop the world ranking, Chanderpaul likened that position to the game of cricket.

"Ranking is not a permanent thing. You have to take each game at a time," he said.

Leeward Islands batsman Keiron Powell, who struck his maiden Test century in the Antigua Test, said Chris Gayle played a large part in his milestone.

"From time to time he would come up to me and encourage me to remain calm. That, for me, was very reassuring and playing in conditions which I'm accustomed, I had nothing to complain about and batted on," the left-hander said.

Meanwhile, a West Indies Cricket Board source says that plans are afoot to show the Olympic Men's and Women's 100m finals on the big screen at Sabina Park this weekend.

It is understood that the organisers have requested that the respective drinks breaks on Saturday and Sunday be adjusted to facilitate the eagerly-anticipated marquee clashes in London.

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