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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 15:25 GMT
Windies find ideal balance
Wavell Hinds
Hinds hit his first century on foreign soil
West Indies opening batsmen finally found a perfect mix in hitting their first century partnership on their tour of India, centurion Wavell Hinds believes.

"I finally struck the right balance between caution and belligerence," said Hinds after reaching his third Test century on the second day of the third Test in Calcutta.

"At the Test level you have got to bat patiently and pick the right balls to score off.

"I kept my nerves strong and that made the difference."

Hinds and Gayle took 60 overs about their 172-run stand, but neither man shirked from punishing the occasional poor delivery with a boundary.

Hinds hit 16 fours in his 200-ball century, while Gayle hit 14 fours and a six to be unbeaten on 80 at stumps as the tourists reached 189 for three - already their second highest total of the series.

It was too late to make an overall impact, as India's eight-wicket win in Madras gave them an unassailable lead in the series.

But Hinds said that his first century away from home would remain a special personal memory.

Regret

"It's a great feeling to have made a vital contribution to the team effort," he went on.

"The series might have been lost, but we're playing for the pride of West Indies."

Hinds' only regret was his dismissal towards the end of the day, caught at short leg attempting to sweep Harbhajan Singh.

The wicket let India back into the game, Harbhajan taking two wickets in the space of three balls before the end of the day.

"There's no turn or bounce in the wicket. It's a good batting track and I should have batted till the draw of stumps," Hinds said.

"Chris and myself were completely focused and intense today. He should carry from here."

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BBC Sport's Pam Poole
"The Windies openers produced their best stand of the series"
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02 Oct 02 | Cricket
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