Windies bowlers hit back with three quick wickets on opening day

Colombo, Sri Lanka – It was a tough start to the Sri Lanka tour for the West Indies batsmen, but the bowlers hit back to keep the team in the match on the opening day of the three-day match against Sri Lanka Cricket President's XI.

After winning the toss and deciding to bat on a good pitch at the Singhalese Sports Club, the Windies were bowled out for 176, shortly after tea, after being 110-3 midway in the second session. In his first knock on Sri Lankan soil Brendan Nash topscored with a patient 62, which came off 107 balls and included seven boundaries. He added 81 for the fourth wicket with fellow left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul, who made 33.

The partnership ended after lunch when Chanderpaul was caught behind by Prasanna Jayawardena off left-arm pacer Thilan Thushara (2-38). Nash was also taken by the keeper as he top-edged a sweep off leg-spinner Malinga Bandara, who took three quick wickets. Adrian Barath made 21 at the top of the order while Andre Russell looked at ease as he hit four boundaries in a run-a-ball 20.

Late in the evening the West Indies bowlers were fired up and were rewarded with three quick wickets as the President’s XI closed on 59-3. The wickets went to the new ball pair of Kemar Roach and Nelon Pascal; while Darren Sammy grabbed the other in his first over. Play ended early due to rain and bad light. The match will resume on Thursday at 9.45 am (12.15 am Eastern Caribbean Time/11.15 am Wednesday Jamaica Time).

After the day’s play Nash said that he was pleased with the way the bowlers responded after the batsmen failed.

“Their top four batsmen came out and played their shots, but our bowlers were able to get three of them and that brought us right back into the match. Their plan was obviously to come hard at us in the final session, but we bowled well and bowled fast and got wickets which we deserved,” the West Indies Vice Captain said.

“There is a lot of time left in the match, so we would like to try see how we can make some more inroads into their batting and then try to make better use when we get a second chance to bat. It is a good pitch and a fast outfield but we did not quite get going today. Shiv and myself batted well together and Barath also showed signs that was going to hang in there. Russell also played well in his first match for the West Indies, but overall we did not do as well as we should have. We have the second innings to get it right.”

On his knock, Nash noted: “I was a little scratchy at the start but I was happy I spent some much-needed time at the crease and got used to the conditions here in Sri Lanka. I wanted to go on and get a bigger score for the team. The time I spent in the middle should serve me well in the Test matches. We have to learn from today and make sure we don’t make similar mistakes in the Test matches."