West Indies are in the driver's seat - Sulieman Benn
West Indies left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn has asserted that the hosts are currently in the driver’s seat in the ongoing tri-series in the Caribbean after a win against South Africa in the first match.
West Indies, riding on a six-wicket haul from Sunil Narine, dismissed South Africa for 188 runs and later on Kieron Pollard struck an unbeaten 67 to guide his team to a four-wicket win in the opening game.
South Africa had West Indies down at 76 for four at just past the half-way mark but Pollard managed to pull his team through to a win with a responsible knock.
Benn feels that West Indies will have momentum on their side when they face Australia on 5th June especially since the 2015 Cricket World Cup champions are yet to begin their campaign in the tournament.
“We are in good spirits coming off what was a difficult win in the end,” said Benn.
“But we pulled through and that showed our character.
“So going forward against Australia, we have momentum, they have to start.
“So, I think we are in the driver’s seat.”
Benn described the win against South Africa as a “good feeling” and then went on to laud Narine for his excellent performance in his comeback game.
“It was great. I told him it was a privilege to play a national game with him as we never did before.
“He is an awesome bowler.
“He has had his setbacks or whatever, but to come and get six wickets for 27 runs in any conditions is a great achievement and I applaud him.”
Overall 12 wickets fell to spin in the first game between West Indies and Australia and Benn has acknowledged that the pitch was on a slower side.
Furthermore, Benn felt that both South Africa and West Indies had a chance to play better with the bat despite the pitch being slow.
“It was a little slow, it wasn’t bad. South Africa could have got a little more runs.
“Obviously that was their shortcoming (in the match).
“We probably did not assess our batting well.
“We probably could have been a little more positive in the first 10 overs. Saying that, a win is a win.”
Thanking the likes of Roddy Estwick and the team physiotherapist Jacqueline King for helping him through the tough times last year, Benn described his journey since 2015 as a “topsy-turvy road”.
“It has been a funny little topsy-turvy road for me.
“From having thoughts of packing from this format or whatever, then people like Roddy Estwick and Jacqueline King convinced me to keep going.
“Then going to Trinidad and then going to India and now I am here.
“I have a lot of people to thank for as far as advice is concerned. So I give thanks every day.”
Australia have a formidable side and with the return of Mitchell Starc, their bowling line-up will also receive a tremendous boost.
However, Benn said that West Indies are not worried about the opposition and are concentrating on their own plans for the tri-series.
“We are going to concentrate on what we have to do.
“We are not worrying about what Australia does or what South Africa does.
“We have a sole commitment about what we do as a team for West Indies.”
Benn bowled his full quota of 10 overs in the game against South Africa and failed to pick a wicket but gave away just 41 runs and conceded just one boundary in his spell.
© Cricket World 2016