By Rawle Toney
Thousands of spectators were visibly dejected yesterday as they exited the Guyana National Stadium at Providence where the West Indies lost by one run to England in the first Digicel One Day International (ODI) via the Duckworth/Lewis (D/L) system.
West Indies coach John Dyson miscalculated the Duckworth-Lewis chart and called the batsmen in believing his side had won the match when in fact England were one run ahead on the Duckworth/Lewis system.
Dyson in an interview with Sky Sports TV said: “When it came down to that last wicket I didn’t go across the column, I went down the wrong column. It’s my responsibility, that’s it. I’ve apologized to the team, that’s all I can do. It was a bad mistake.”
At the post-match press conference, Windies captain Chris Gayle said that he and his team are obviously upset about the loss but it was a genuine mistake on the coach’s behalf.
“I’m not going to kill him for the mistake. He miscalculated the D/L system and thought that we were ahead. It’s his job to keep on top of these things and if he thought he was and wasn’t it’s just a mistake. But we are disappointed because we played really hard.”
“I think everyone left the venue thinking that we had won the game, even the players too but it was just a big mistake,” said Gayle.
The captain said that the heroics of Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 42 off 36 balls especially when he slaughtered Steve Harminson hitting 26 off his seventh over, swung the game right into the favour of the West Indies at a time when the West Indies were a bit behind in the run chase.
“Shiv brought us right back into the game after we were falling behind with his wonderful knock. Also Pollard did well too, but when we started losing wickets things slipped away,” said Gayle.
The West Indies team went into the match amidst some controversy in their camp, more so with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) since the regional matches saw a boycott by the players. This came after WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine stepped down as a director on the WICB board.
According to Gayle, who along with his other WI team-mates wore a band around the logo which is common on the forearm of the famous maroon shirt, that was to show solidarity with the other players who had staged the boycott of matches.
However, he was adamant that this had nothing to do with their relationship with Digicel who is the major sponsor of the team.
“I want to make it clear that our action today did not have any effect whatsoever to our performance on the field today. Also I want to publicly say that our demonstration has nothing to do with Digicel as was speculated.”
But Gayle did say that the West Indies team will remain in full support of the boycott.
Meanwhile over in the England camp, their captain Andrew Strauss said that even though the nature of the victory was by virtue of a big mistake on the West Indies side, his side was still greatful for it.
“A win is a win no matter how you get it on the field; you have to take it however it comes. Both teams went out and played well since a victory was desperately needed. I was surprised at the WI team when I saw them walking off the field. It was dark out there I must say, but it was up to the umpires to say if it was good enough or not,” said the England captain.
Recalling the innings of Chanderpaul, Straus said: “We tried everything possible to control him from early, but it didn’t work. He outthink us and when he went after Harminson in that over it just showed how great a player Chanderpaul is and we had no stop for him.”
England is looking to salvage some pride in the series and with them getting a victory yesterday, tomorrow’s second ODI is expected to be a scorcher.