KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Local cricket officials say that persons without tickets for today’s cricket One-Day International (ODI) between the West Indies and Australia should not come to the Arnos Vales Playing Field.
All tickets for the match sold out yesterday, one day after the regional team won their first ODI against Australia since 2006.
The West Indies is hoping for a repeat of Sunday’s outcome, which would give them a 2-1 series lead ahead of the final two games in St Lucia. If they can convert the expected support into another victory today, the West Indies will give themselves an even better chance of defeating Australia in a one-day series for the first time since 1995.
But the Australians have also taken note of the West Indies’ intentions and analysts say that the regional team will be reluctant to make changes to the squad that won on Sunday but might consider such a move for the fourth and fifth matches.
Meanwhile, Australia, have made one change to their team, including offspinner Nathan Lyon, who is expected to take advantage of the low pitch at Arnos Vale, while batsman Peter Forrest will spectate.
In the match on Sunday, Kieron Pollard’s partnership with Dwayne Bravo lapped up the Australian’s modest total in the rain-affected match. The West Indies held Australia to 154 for 9 and had their target adjusted to 158 from 40 overs because of rain.
The tourists were sent in to bat after they loss the toss. The West Indies most likely made that decision because of the threat of rain at the pitch that tends to favour the first side to bat.
The Australians saw their tally slide to 46 for 3 with wickets falling regularly before they ended their outing at 154 for 9.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who was at the pitch on Sunday when the West Indies registered the victory, declared today a public holiday to allow citizens to see the third game in the series.
Gonsalves was also among spectators on Friday when the Australians registered a 64-runs victory against the regional team, making 204 for 8, after batting first.
Former West Indies cricket great Michael Holding commented on that loss when he appeared as a guest Saturday on “Press Sports”, a local radio programme hosted by journalist E. Glenford Presscott.
Holding, who is now a cricket commentator, said that while the West Indies bowled and fielded rather well, “the batting did us down terribly”.
He said that deciphering what happened to the West Indies during Friday’s match “is not something that you can handle so easily.
“People can keep rolling out the same old phrase about not concentrating and not adapting. It’s not as simple as that. There has to be other things that come into play when things like that continue to happen to a team. Because nobody can tell me that these players haven’t got a bit more talent than they are actually showing,” he said.
Holding said that while the Arnos Vale pitch gets slower as the match progresses and both captains wanted to bat first, in the previous 20 ODIs played at the facility, ten teams that batted first have won while ten teams that batted second have won.
“So you know what you are getting. You know you have got to adapt to the slower nature of the pitch when you are batting second and you apply yourself accordingly. It wasn’t a pitch where you could say once you lose the toss you have lost. It is not that sort of a pitch. But you know … that it is going to be better batting first; so you have got to apply yourself a bit better batting second,” he said.