Narine takes four for 19; feels up to the challenge

Bridgetown, Barbados — West Indies slow bowler Sunil Narine believes he is in the right mental and physical shape as he prepares to face Australia in the upcoming Digicel One-Day International Series.

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The 23-year-old took four wickets in the space of 10 balls in brilliant second spell on Saturday as the West Indies players had a second warm-up match at the 3Ws Oval. He ended with 4-19 off 8.5 overs to bowl out Darren Sammy’s XI for 159 in 39.5 overs. The topscore came from Darren Bravo with 37 off 45 balls.
In reply, Denesh Ramdin’s team reached 163-6 off 30 overs with Dwayne Smith topscoring with 74 off 66 balls. He added 71 for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels, who made 32 off 43 balls.
Speaking after the match Narine noted: “Things have gone well for me here over the last week in the camp and I’m feeling good about the way I’m bowling. The ball is coming out really nicely and I’m in the right shape both mentally and physically. Today did not start out too well for me … I was not that good in my first spell, but I put that behind, had a rethink, and came back strong in my second spell.
“We still have some time to go before the first match next Friday, so there is still some more work I have to put in. We have some training sessions so I will look to work on my variations in the nets and also look to plan properly by watching the videos and gathering details on the opposition. Things are building up really well for me and for the team. There is a lot of expectation among the members of the team for this series.”
Narine made his international debut against India in Ahmedabad last December. He played three matches and took three wickets at 40.33 each. He is eagerly looking forward to playing his first match at home before a supportive Caribbean crowd.
“When I played in India last year I got a feel for the atmosphere at international level. It was great. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of West Indian fans. It is always great to get the support of your the fans and have them cheering you on. That does a lot for any player and certainly helps to lift the team,” he said.
“I learned a lot when I played those matches in India. I got to realise that at this level there is little room for error and your bad balls will be punished. The good players will punish you, and as a bowler you never want to be playing catch-up.”
He added: “You have to be on top of your game from ball one, so my aim is always to make sure that when I take the field I’m mentally and physically up for the challenge. At this level of the game you have to be at your best at all times. There is no place to hide.”
West Indies team will depart from Barbados and arrive in St. Vincent on Monday, where they will contest the first three Digicel ODIs on March 16, 18 and 20 at the Arnos Vale Cricket Ground.
West Indies Squad for Digicel ODIs in St Vincent
Darren Sammy (captain)
Denesh Ramdin (vice-captain)
Tino Best
Devendra Bishoo
Darren Bravo
Dwayne Bravo
Johnson Charles
Sunil Narine
Kieron Pollard
Kieran Powell
Kemar Roach
Andre Russell
Marlon Samuels
Match schedule for Digicel ODI Series
Friday, 16 March – 1st Digicel ODI at Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, St. Vincent
Sunday, 18 March – 2nd Digicel ODI at Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, St. Vincent
Tuesday, 20 March – 3rd Digicel ODI at Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, St. Vincent
Friday, 23 March – 4th Digicel ODI at Beausejour Cricket Ground, St. Lucia
Sunday, 25 March – 5th Digicel ODI at Beausejour Cricket Ground, St. Lucia