Shillingford pleased with WWI progress
GROS ISLET, SAINT LUCIA - Shane Shillingford has quickly become the main man for the Windward Islands, the go-to man.
If there was any doubt before the opening day of Windward Islands' Round 1, Regional 4 Day match against the Combined Campuses and Colleges, there isn't any now.
Up until his introduction into the bowling attack, the students were cruising at 91/1, and looked set to end the day in a commanding position, and even push on for a sizeable first innings score.
When Shillingford did come in though, he didn't leave until 30 overs later. His first spell, stretching across water-breaks and lunch time intervals consisted of over 30 overs from the Media Centre End of the Beausejour Cricket Ground. It might sound stressful to us but according to 'Shilly', for him, it's quite normal. He said of his marathon spell, "That's normal for me. I bowl a lot of overs on the trot and that's the type of bowler I am."
He was the first to admit that the pitch is one that favours the batsmen, but through his persistence and discipline, he was able to finish Day 1 with figures of 32-9-73-3. His three wickets broke the back of CCC's middle order; number three batsman, captain Kyle Corbin was caught by Delorn Johnson for 57, number four batsman, the in-form Chadwick Walton, was caught at slip by Devon Smith, while he also accounted for in-form Raymon Reifer at number five, trapping the left-hander Leg Before Wicket.
At the start of the day, a heavy presence of grass was on the wicket. Shillingford thought that would assist the faster bowlers, and so the key to his success was persistence. He said, "The main thing that was working for me was accuracy. When you have a wicket like this one that you are not sure will give you much assistance, your best option is accuracy, and that is what I tried to do today, put the balls in the right places."
From 183/3, less than a hundred runs later, the CCC were nine wickets down. Though the Windwards couldn't kill off the innings on Saturday, Shillingford hopes they will be able to do it early on Sunday morning. "The wicket is a good one. We are looking to wrap this up early tomorrow and try to get a hundred lead. We saw how they batted in their first innings, how they started, and we think we can win this," he said.