Holder, Lewis devastate India - Windies A claim early advantage

By Sports Desk July 04, 2018
Chemar Holder. Chemar Holder.

Windies A pacers Chemar Holder and Sherman Lewis tore through the Indian A batting line-up with four wickets apiece to hand the team an early advantage on day 1 of the first unofficial Test at Kent Cricket Ground.

After dismissing the Indians for 133 in the first innings, Windies enjoyed a 15-run lead after ending the day at 148 for 3.  After winning the toss and choosing to bat the Indians were rocked at 3 for 3 with both openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal dismissed for first-ball ducks after falling to Holder and Lewis respectively.  In-between the quick dismissals Ravikumar Samarth got off the mark but his progress was capped at just two runs.

Captain Karun Nair attempted to steady the ship and hit a few boundaries as himself and Hanuma Vihari put a 42-runs stand together for the struggling team.  Raymon Reifer, however, intervened by removing Nair lbw for 20.

 Vihari and Vijay Shankar struck up another partnership worth 60 runs but Reifer popped up against to crush the resistance, this time dismissing Shankar for 34.  After Vihari fell for 37 Lewis and Holder rooted out the rest of the India line-up in just six overs.

In response, Shamarh Brooks led the way for the Windies with 51 unbeaten, with Chandrapaul Hemraj contributing a respectable 42.

 

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    After being accused of going missing earlier in the tournament, following subpar performances against Bangladesh and South Africa, the Windies top order got their act together in time to punish the Sri Lanka bowlers. 

    Led by a belligerent 62 from opener Hayley Matthews and 49 from Deandra Dottin, the Windies put on 94 for the first wicket.

    Taylor, who came to crease when the partnership was broken after Matthews’ dismissal, then added 41 from 25 balls to help the team post an unassailable 187.

    In response, the Sri Lankan’s anchored by 44 from their captain Chamari Atapattu, were helped by some sloppiness in the field but still fell far short of making the match competitive after being dismissed for 104. 

    “We came to the party with our batting, but I can’t say the same for the fielding.  We looked a bit ragged there,” Taylor said.

    “We said that we just needed to apply ourselves out there spent some time at the crease.  The reason for winning the toss and batting was that I found that the pitch might be a keeping a bit low,” she added.

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    Joe Root was pleased to lead by example after his superb century boosted England's hopes of a series-clinching victory in Pallekele.

    After overcoming a scratchy start, Root blossomed to make 124 from 146 deliveries on day three of the second Test against Sri Lanka, helping the tourists reach 324-9 before heavy rain cut short the final session.

    Still, despite the damp finish to proceedings, England's overall outlook is bright. They hold a 278-run lead and, on a wearing pitch, will hope their trio of spinners can secure an unassailable 2-0 lead with one Test remaining.

    Having called for his batsmen to play positively in tough conditions prior to the tour, Root was happy to back up his words with an aggressive knock that included 10 fours and two sixes.

    "They're all different, but that was a thoroughly enjoyable one today," the Yorkshireman said of his 15th Test ton in an interview with Sky Sports.

    "Obviously it was quite challenging on that surface but the most pleasing thing for me was that I've asked the guys to play in a certain manner when we've come to this part of the world and in these conditions, so you want to set the example and lead from the front, play in that manner yourself.

    "For it to come off as it did today is really pleasing.

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    "Credit to the guys for coming out and playing that way. We lost Leach early and, looking at the scoreboard with a bit of a deficit, the temptation is to go into your shell.

    "But the guys played with freedom and a lot of courage, as well as showing respect to the good balls out there."

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