TASKED WITH rebounding from Sri Lanka’s first day total of 267 runs for three wickets, West Indies all-rounder Roston Chase believes patience is key.
At the Galle International Stadium in Sri Lanka on Sunday, West Indies had a tough time during the opening day of the first Test match as captain Dimuth Karunaratne (132 not out), Dhananjaya de Silva (56 not out) and opener Pathum Nissanka (56) put the hosts in a comfortable position.
Chase, with his off-breaks, took two of the three wickets to fall, for 42 runs from 17 overs. He said the usually spin-friendly pitch at Galle was a bit slower this time around.
“The pitch is a good batting pitch, pretty batting friendly, not much there for the fast bowlers. The ball is spinning a little bit earlier but after lunch the pitch really flattened out,” he said.
The Barbadian all-rounder stressed that the West Indies would require a more-aggressive bowling display on the second day to restrict Sri Lanka.
He believes the new ball on the second morning may improve their chances of dismantling Sri Lanka’s batting order.
“Obviously we take the second new ball but I still think that it’s a pitch that we need to be patient. It’s a good batting track so it will take a little bit more time to get the batsmen’s wicket.
“So we just have to be disciplined in our line and length and back it up in the field, with fielders giving a good effort to help out the bowlers. It’s not an easy job so patience is key,” he added.
The visitors however, would rue their missed chances, particularly Jermaine Blackwood’s dropped catch at slip off Karunaratne when he was on 14.
Chase remains optimistic the maroon can bounce back with the ball in the second session. After the opening day, Chase topped the bowling while Shannon Gabriel snagged the only other wicket as he had Nissanka caught by Rahkeem Cornwall at first slip.
When asked how he thinks the team would fare for the rest of the first Test, Chase replied, “It’s the first day of the Test match so it’s hard to say. Hopefully, if there’s a result, it would swing in our favour.”
The second and final Test will take place at Galle from November 29 to December 3.
The West Indies have not won a Test series since February when they defeated hosts Bangladesh 2-0. Since then, they drew 0-0 against Sri Lanka (in March, in Antigua), lost 2-0 to South Africa (in June, in St Lucia) and then drew 1-1 with Pakistan (in August, in Jamaica).