Shimron Hetmyer, whose unbeaten century was crucial to West Indies levelling the series against top-ranked England in the second ODI, said he was happy about the way the team had been progressing.
Hetmyer scored an 83-ball 104* and was named Player of the Match in Barbados.
“Just trying to open up more sides – still a work in progress,” Hetmyer said. “I’m trying to change my approach, trying to bring different dimensions to the game.
“Our mood was good as usual, the guys believed in themselves. It was a wonderful day for me and the team and I feel really pleased with my performance, which helped the team to win and level the series. We are on a rise as a team and we are trying to take it a game at a time, and one step at a time.”
Hetmyer and Darren Bravo’s fourth wicket partnership was important for the hosts as it helped them move close to 200 before the latter was run-out.
“I started slowly and Bravo was quite helpful to me in guiding me,” Hetmyer said.
“We played well as a team today, we batted well and batted deep. Then the bowlers did a fantastic job with the ball: special congrats to Cottrell for the way he bowled. It was great to see him do such a great job with the new ball and then come back and finish off the innings.”
Ahead of the World Cup that begins on May 30 in England and Wales, both sides came into the series with preparations high on the agenda.
While England won the first game, chasing a 360-run total with six wickets in hand, the Windies have hit back with a 26-run victory on a tricky surface on Friday.
“Really pleased. We played a really good game,” said Jason Holder, the Windies skipper. “Credit to Hetty (Hetmyer), he set it up nicely for us with the bat. On a sticky wicket, we got a good total and credit to our bowlers [for] the way we defended it.
“We had the belief. We pushed from there. It gave us the momentum, put England under pressure. Credit to the boys. We need options in this day and age, with the big scores that batting teams score in modern ODI cricket. Cottrell has added variation – he is a wicket-taker and very enthusiastic, love his energy. It’s good to see the youngsters stepping up.”
England captain Eoin Morgan was understandably disappointed with the lack of partnerships during their chase but praised Cottrell’s performance with the ball.
“My first time facing him,” Morgan admitted. “[He poses] a different challenge – swinging the ball both ways, and he comes back with variations with the older ball.
“Collectively, we have to chase down, in partnerships. In international cricket, you really need to nail it when you are on top and we failed to do that. We did a lot of good things today. Two games into the pitch, we made a lot of improvements. I thought 290 was well within our capabilities. The run-rate was never an issue. Windies deserved to win.”