Red hot Rampaul rocks Pakistan
Basseterre, St Kitts – Fast bowler Ravi Rampaul turned in another brilliant bowling performance as the West Indies took control over Pakistan on the rain-shortened first day of the Second Digicel Test on Friday.
The lion-hearted right-arm pacer rocked the Pakistani top order with a three-wicket burst as the visitors ended the opening day on 180-6 at Warner Park. He has so far taken 3-40 from 18.2 overs. The other wicket-takers are Captain Darren Sammy and leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, while Ramnaresh Sarwan moved swiftly at cover to run out topscorer Azhar Ali for 67.
Speaking after the day’s play Rampaul said he was happy with his bowling effort and outlined that the Windies will be looking to finish off the innings early when play resumes on Saturday morning.
“The pitch here is usually ideal for the batsmen. In past matches it has always been a batting track, but it had in some extra moisture in the morning and I was able to get the ball to 'bounce and carry'. I knew I had to use whatever little advantage we had and I decided to exploit it and I got the result we were looking for as a team,” Rampaul said.
“It was the ideal start. We knew from the start it was going to be a good pitch for batting but in the back of my mind I was thinking maybe we could get them for something in the region of 250.”
Rampaul will start Saturday looking to finish off the Pakistan innings and also to better his Test-best figures of 4-48, which he achieved in the first Digicel Test at the Guyana National Stadium. He took seven wickets in that match which the Windies won by 40 runs.
“We are on our way to that score (less than 250) and we believe we could be able to finish off the job on Saturday. We have confidence and we are playing good cricket as a team. I’m very happy with the way I’m bowling. Everything felt right and I will be looking to finish off the work tomorrow.”
The 26-year-old also called on the fans in St Kitts to come out and support the team over the weekend as they try to win the match and take a 2-0 lead in the two-match rubber.
“On Saturday and Sunday we are hoping to see much more people waving their flags and showing their support. As players we would love to see more faces in the stands cheering for us. We are doing quite well at the moment … we did a great job to win the First Digicel Test in Guyana. We are playing our hearts out for the people of the West Indies and we appreciate the support we get.”
Play will start early in Saturday, First ball is 9.30 am (8.30 am Jamaica Time).