Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Shane grabs six on comeback

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For the first time in nearly a year, off-spinner Shane Shillingford was blessed with the opportunity to bowl in a Test match.
The tall well built Dominican came away as the hero with his best bowling in a Test innings and a Man Of The Match award when the first cricket Test against Zimbabwe ended with a comprehensive nine-wicket victory at Kensington Oval yesterday.
Shillingford’s second innings six for 49 condemned Zimbabwe to a paltry second innings 107 and defeat well inside three days.
Since the second Test of the series against England last year, Sunil Narine has been the first choice spinner and even Veerasammy Permaul was preferred to Shillingford against Bangladesh.
Shillingford, however, refused to be distracted by the challenge.
“Every player wants to know that he gets to wear the West Indies colours. We come out and do well to represent our country and it’s nice that the competition is there. It helps me to step up my game, so I use it as a positive,” Shillingford said after the match.
Shillingford said encouragement from his captain made him more comfortable in his comeback match and his familiarity with the conditions was also a positive factor.
“I always remember playing in Barbados, especially against Barbados, picking up a lot of wickets. It’s a ground where I do well often enough. The support was there from the team-mates so I enjoyed it,” Shillingford said.
“The pitch was kind of up and down. It was a pitch that you had to put a lot into, especially the spinners, if you wanted to get results and that’s what I tried to do.
“I have met a lot of wickets like this. I assess the situation early enough and know what I have to do with the ball to get purchase from it so I try my best to do that,” said Shillingford.
Despite his ten-wicket match haul against Australia last year being one wicket better, Shillingford treasures this performance because of the outcome of the match.
“Playing against Australia, getting the ten wickets and still losing at the end of the day, you are not really happy,” he said.
“It’s not just a one-man performance. You want the team to go out there, perform well and get results.
“Definitely it’s Test match in that all the guys performed well and we won.”

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