West Indies ran India close before losing the first ODI by one wicket in Cuttack on November 29, 2011. (AP Photo)
Cuttack: Victory slipped out of their hands but West Indies skipper Darren Sammy lauded his boys for their never-say-die spirit with which they pushed world champions India in the first one-dayer, here on Tuesday.
In a thrilling low-scoring match, India prevailed by one wicket with seven balls to spare while chasing 212 to win.
"Everytime you lose, it is quite disappointing. We just didn't have the last spark to take us past the finish line.
The opening bowlers did well to give us a start and we fought all the way to the end, but it wasn't enough.
"We could have done things differently, we even bowled 23 extras, but I would like to commend the boys. They fought with never-say-die spirit and it is going to stick," Sammy said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Rohit Sharma, who scored 72 under immense pressure, said he was satisfied that he could help the side win but disappointed that he could not finish it off.
"The idea was to play throughout the innings, but unfortunately I wasn't able to finish it. But it doesn't matter now; we won the game," Sharma, who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match, said.
Sharma also acknowledged the contribution made by Ravindra Jadeja with whom he shared a crucial 83-run partnership when India were looking down the barrel at 59 for 5.
"I needed support from Jadeja at that stage. We played to a plan and he batted brilliantly. Even Vinay Kumar batted really well. I didn't have much cricket after my injury but luckily did well in the Ranji games. I am glad I got an opportunity under pressure and managed to pull it through," he said.
India skipper Virender Sehwag said he was nervous when fortunes started fluctuating in the game and superstitiously he did not move from a particular place in the dressing room.
"I was sitting in the same place and not moving. Good to win another nail-biter. This is second game in a row which was thrilling. Everyone thought West Indies would score 250-300 and India will chase easily, but it was different," he said.
Asked what he told the last pair at the crease for India in Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron, Sehwag said there was not much to say to them.
"Whatever you tell No. 10 or No. 11, they always do what they want to do. I just told them to fight till the last ball end and whatever happens it does not matter," he said.
Yadav scored a boundary on the leg side to win the match for India on the penultimate ball of the 49th over.
"Rohit and Jadeja batted really well in that partnership and we should have won it easily from there, but still good to end up winning. Hope to learn from our batting mistakes in the coming games," Sehwag added.