Port of Spain: One disastrous hour on Tuesday may have cost West Indies their chance to level the Test series against Australia, coach Ottis Gibson said. West Indies were cruising at 230 for 4 late on the third day of the second Test in Trinidad on Tuesday when the wheels suddenly fell off at the Queen's Park Oval. They lost five wickets for 19 runs, all to Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon, and then limped to stumps at 252 for 9, still 59 runs behind but having lost all their momentum.
"The guys hung in. They played some pretty good cricket for the most part but it was just those little parts, that one bad hour, that we have to try and overcome," Gibson told reporters. "We've got over a lot of hurdles to get to where we are at the moment to play some pretty competitive cricket but we just need to overcome those little situations where one bad hour is killing us."
It has been lean times for West Indies in recent years and they remain without several of their best players, and Gibson admitted his young team was not as good as the Australians. But he said they were making steady progress and had shown they could compete at the Test level, though a combination of bad luck and batting lapses was costing them dearly.
West Indies slipped from 230 for 4 to 249 for 9 at stumps on day three of the second Test against Australia.
"You can't cry over spilt milk; you've got to keep getting yourself up and keep going," he said. "It's tough but the guys, credit to them they've kept coming back and they've been very competitive."
Gibson said the turning point on Tuesday came when Shivnarine Chanderpaul (94) and Narsingh Deonarine (55) departed in quick succession after a 130-run partnership for the fifth wicket. "When you get those big partnerships, you have got to hope that the two guys in those partnerships can go big," Gibson said. "It would have been nice for Shiv [Chanderpaul] to go on, get a hundred and still be there at the end because obviously he played fantastically well for us to get in the position we're in."
West Indies lost last week's first Test in Barbados after a second innings batting collapse but despite the possibility of a repeat, Gibson was hoping his team could turns things around. "The Aussies chased 190 last week and won, so who's to say we can't do that this week," said Gibson. "We just have to stay positive and make sure that whatever it is we're chasing, we apply ourselves maybe a little bit better at the start of the innings than we did here in the first innings and the second innings in Barbados."