Coach Simmons urges Windies to ‘keep fighting’

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Sydney, Jan 6 (IANS) West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is urging his players to “keep fighting” when the third and final Test against Australia enters its fourth day.

The entire third day’s play was washed out Tuesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground, leaving West Indies on 248-7 in a match marred by inclement weather, reports CMC.

Carlos Brathwaite’s entertaining 69 was the highlight of the West Indies innings, which was affected by rain during the first two days, particularly the second day when only 68 balls were bowled.

“I think we have seen, in the last three days of cricket (including in Melbourne in the second Test) we’ve had, we’ve improved, and our batting seems to be thinking about it more and fighting a little bit harder to not give the Aussies wickets,” Simmons told reporters.

Brathwaite’s counterattacking 69, following his bold 59, has earned him a place in the record books as the second batsman in Test history to score half centuries in his first two matches batting at No. 8.

The only other batsman to achieve the feat was Australian wicketkeeper Sammy Carter against England in 1907.

“There is a lot of light (at the end of the tunnel) with the players and I think you can mention (Kraigg and Carlos Brathwaite) because they have got runs,” said Simmons.

“The way how (Darren) Bravo has batted in all the Test matches. The way (Rajendra) Chandrika has looked. He hasn’t gone on to a big score but the way he looked early on.”

Showers are also forecast for the fourth day, but officials are hoping the rain would not be significant enough to affect the chances of play.

The weather forecast is for improved conditions, but there is still some rain in the atmosphere.

“I think we need to see how much play we get tomorrow first,” he said.

“One side is telling me there is showers again in the morning and now I’ve just heard there may be showers in the afternoon too, so we’ve just got to see what happens tomorrow, then we go from there.”

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