West Indies captain Chris Gayle and his senior batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul are confident their side’s fighting spirit can help them avoid defeat in the third Digicel Test against England on Thursday’s final day.
The home team, set an unrealistic 503 to win, enters day five on 143 for three with Chanderpaul and the in-form Ramnaresh Sarwan both not out.
“We know it is in England’s favour at this point in time but having said that, there are two experienced batsmen at the crease,” Gayle said. “The first session is very important and hopefully by the end of it those guys will still be at the crease.
“I think the wicket is pretty good still. There is some uneven bounce and (off-spinner Graeme) Swann has some rough to accompany him. It is going to be difficult, no-one can say it will be easy but we have to have the self-belief that the guys can get the job done.”
Chanderpaul, who has yet to fire in this series, is keen to lead his team’s fight: “Hopefully tomorrow’s my day. You have to keep fighting, at this level of cricket you have to keep fighting. You just have to go out there and remember the basics and keep fighting as hard as you can.
“We have to bat as long as we can and try and keep them out because tomorrow the weather might not be that good also. The pitch is pretty good. We just have to apply ourselves and fight hard.”
Chanderpaul and Sarwan both scored centuries here six years ago when the West Indies chased down a record 418 for seven to defeat Australia. Chanderpaul did not rule out another improbable record-breaking victory but admitted it was more a case of batting time.
“It’s a huge total and I don’t know what can happen tomorrow but cricket is a funny game, anything can happen. If we get a partnership going, we can see what happens.”