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West Indies coach challenges batsmen to save series

Reuters/Manchester
Filed on July 27, 2020
West Indies coach Phil Simmons. (Reuters)

The tourists have their backs to the wall after slumping to 10-2 at the close on Sunday, with the series level at 1-1

West Indies coach Phil Simmons challenged his batsmen to get among the runs as they need to chase down an imposing 399-run target to win the deciding Test against England at Old Trafford.

The tourists have their backs to the wall after slumping to 10-2 at the close on Sunday, with the series level at 1-1.

"We haven't had any centuries in this series so I'm always going to be putting pressure on them to go out there and get it," Simmonds told a news conference.

"The wicket is still a good wicket to bat on, so they have to set themselves a target of getting a big score on this wicket. We've got to show that determination to get those big scores.

"Monday is only the fourth day so we've got a lot of time to bat," added Simmonds, ignoring the weather forecast that suggests much of Monday's play will be rained out.

That was the catalyst for England accelerating the run rate and declaring their second innings on 226-2 on Sunday before putting the West Indies into bat for the last six overs of the day.

Stuart Broad, who took 6-31 in the first innings, snagged both opener John Campbell and nightwatchman Kemar Roach before the close, handing the home side a massive advantage.

Kraigg Brathwaite, who went cheaply in the first innings, and Shai Hope, under pressure to keep his place after a series of low scores, will resume with the West Indies needing a serious rear guard action to stand any chance of success.

Simmons admitted the challenge of facing veterans Broad and James Anderson in English conditions was a formidable prospect for his batsmen.

"Those bowlers - one nearing 600 and the other 500 Test wickets - make things hard. Those guys keep coming at you, it's relentless. But on these wickets here, we have shown we can score," he said.


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