More fight needed from Windies  middle order, laments Reifer

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Opener Evin Lewis top-scored with 65

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC) – West Indies head coach Floyd Reifer has urged the middle order take more responsibility following yet another batting collapse which led to the home side’s 59-run defeat to India in the second One-Day International here Sunday.

The Windies were 148 for three in the 28th over in pursuit of a revised target of 270 off 46 overs but lost their last seven wickets for 62 runs to be dismissed for 210 off 42 overs on a good surface at Queen’s Park Oval.

Opener Evin Lewis top-scored with 65 while Nicholas Pooran, batting at number five, got 42 but no other batsman passed 20.

“We’ve got to continue to learn from this experience. The guys in the middle order have to show a bit more fight and a bit more grit, more determination to build those long partnerships,” Reifer said.

“Again, we were in front of the game [but] we just find a way to give away our wickets. It’s just a matter for us now to learn from our mistakes … and try to dig deeper and work out a way out we’re going to handle the stressful positions that we put ourselves in.”

A pleasing aspect of the batting was the return to form of Lewis, who has struggled of recent. He struck an unbeaten 40 in the rain-abandoned first ODI in Guyana and again looked in good touch with his sixth one-day half-century.

Reifer said behind the scenes the Trinidadian had been working hard to turn around his form.

“He has been doing a lot of work in the nets. In the last couple of days we’ve worked on his head position, trying to get his head behind the line of the ball [and] hitting the ball more in the ‘V’ instead of falling over the wicket,” Reifer explained.

“That’s something he was [aware] of and he worked on it for the last couple of days and you can see the results. He’s getting consistent with the bat and let’s hope he can go on and make a big hundred for us the next game.”

West Indies would have been satisfied at the halfway stage of the contest after limiting the powerful India batting lineup to 279 for seven off their 50 overs.

Capain Virat Kohli stroked 120 – his 42nd ODI hundred – while Shreyas Iyer struck 71, the pair posting 125 for the fourth wicket which proved the bedrock of the innings.

Once they were separated, however, West Indies pegged back the Indians, with seamer Carlos Brathwaite leading the attack with three for 53.

“I thought the bowlers bowled very well to restrict India … I thought it was a very good effort from the bowlers,” Reifer said.

“Guys bowled lines and lengths, with variations of pace. I thought Carlos Brathwaite bowled really well, Roston Chase had a very good spell [and] all the other bowlers chipped in. [Sheldon] Cottrell again [was] a champion so I thought the bowling unit did well.

“I thought the fielding was up to par as well. We can improve some more on the fielding but it’s an improvement and we’re doing better in that area. So I thought the bowlers bowled very well to keep India under 300.”

West Indies take on India in the final ODI here tomorrow..