Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Roston Chase is usually known for his batting, but the part-time off-spinner took a four-wicket haul to lead the West Indies to a 226-run win over Sri Lanka on the fifth day of the first Test in Trinidad.
Chase’s superb performance with the ball saw the West Indies take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.
Starting off the day on 176/3, Sri Lanka opener Kusal Mendis converted his unbeaten 94 into a triple figure score, but failed to push on after bringing up his hundred as he was caught behind off the bowling of Shannon Gabriel for 102, which came off 268 balls and included 10 boundaries and two sixes.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Lahiru Gamage was the next to go as he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Devendra Bishoo for three runs.
Surprisingly, Gamage, who was sent out as the nightwatchman at the end of the fourth day, opted for a review. However, it didn’t work in his favour as replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and going on to hit middle and leg stump.
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal, who retired hurt on the fourth day after exhibiting signs of heat stroke, failed to have much of an impact with the bat as he was caught by Kraigg Brathwaite at mid-on off the bowling of Chase for 27.
Four balls later, Chase had his second wicket as wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella was given out lbw for 19.
Dickwella reviewed the decision, but like Gamage, his gamble didn’t pay off as replays showed the ball was hitting the top of middle stump.
Once Dickwella was gone, Chase tore through Sri Lanka’s lower order, taking out Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara in successive deliveries as the tourists were bowled out for 226.
Chase was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Bishoo snapped up three, Gabriel took two and West Indies skipper Jason Holder claimed one.
Chandimal was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “We went wrong, our fielding was below par on the first day. Dropped crucial chances. But that’s a part of the game. We need to learn from those mistakes and regroup fast.
“We can take positives – Kusal’s knock, was brilliant as a youngster – and also Kumara bowled well in both innings. Credit goes to West Indies, they played some outstanding cricket over five days. Dananjaya de Silva batted at No. 3 last few series, and played some great knocks, so if he feels good, we may play him. We’ll see how it goes.”
Holder was thrilled to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “Extremely happy. Credit goes to each individual. It wasn’t easy, the pitch, it was tough. But Dowrich put his hand up. The partnership I had with Shane, and then Bishoo played an outstanding knock and eased the pressure off Shane.
“Great lower-order contribution from the ground, and then we backed it up with the ball. I wasn’t worried today morning, because the pitch was deteriorating. Knew our bowlers would keep coming, keep the Sri Lankans at bay, and we got wickets in clusters.
“Extremely pleased with Shane and Kieran’s batting. Was disappointed when he got out for 88, but it’s a new batting position for him. We can tighten up in the field – one or two missed chances at run-outs – and we’ll like a bit more from our top-order, so can’t ask for too much more.
“This is the first time this bowling combination has played, and it really paid off on a surface where you had to work hard for the wickets. But also credit to Roston, he built pressure and took wickets. Devendra was great too, and his job with the bat was second to none. Proud of the boys again.”
West Indies wickekeeper Shane Dowrich was named Man of the Match for his career-best knock of 125 not out in the first innings, and said: “Very good feeling. We played through the five days. The pitch wasn’t easy, so had to work for runs. We stuck to our tasks, and it came out well.
“My thought process was to stick to the basics. I’ve been doing this in training, and it worked well for me. For me, consistency and being positive is what I want to continue doing. My batting coach, Floyd Reifer, has helped me a lot and that’s paid off.”