Windies A seek turnaround for series win

(CMC) West Indies A will seek to turn the page on last weekend’s lethargy when they face Sri Lanka A in the decisive day/night, third four-day “Test” at Sabina Park here today.

The hosts clobbered Sri Lanka by an innings in the opening “Test” at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Complex two weeks ago but then slumped to a 280-run defeat inside three days in the second outing.

Head coach Graeme West said Wednesday it was important Windies A, especially in the batting department, revisit the model that brought them such a convincing win in the first game.

“First, the bowlers need to continue doing what they have been doing. The pace bowlers have been aggressive, but they have also maintained good lines and lengths, and the spinners have been probing and when the conditions have allowed, they have been able to attack, so we need a lot more of the same there,” the Englishman pointed out.

“In the field, we need to be a little bit sharper with our close catching. In front and behind the wicket, we missed a number of half chances, but they do make a difference.

“But it’s the batting, we need to go back to the first game, where he had a hundred, half-centuries and hundred partnerships, and players make solid contributions down the order.”

The first “Test” saw a hundred from Sunil Ambris and half-centuries from left-handers Vishaul Singh and John Campbell, as Windies A piled up 364 for eight declared.

In contrast, not a single batsman managed a half-century in the second match, as the hosts failed to muster 150 in either innings.

“It was a little unusual the way we batted. We lost many of our wickets in the first innings playing defensively and we lost most of our wickets in the second innings playing attacking shots,” West explained.

“So clearly we failed to find the right balance of a good defence and making good decisions about when to take on the bowling, particularly (left-arm spinner) Malinda Pushpakumara.”

He added: “The first innings is going to be crucial for us to be able to set up the game, whether we bat first or second, and we need to make 300 runs-plus in the first innings to get ourselves into a good position in the game.

“I have now been involved in eight games with Sri Lanka “A” in four-day matches and the two in which we have been successful are the two in which we made more than 300 in an innings, so that’s a good indication of what we need to do.”

The match bowls off at 2:00 pm.

SQUADS:

WEST INDIES A – Shamarh Brooks (captain), Vishaul Singh (vice-captain), Sunil Ambris, John Campbell, Yannic Cariah, Rahkeem Cornwall, Sheldon Cottrell, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Damion Jacobs, Keon Joseph, Reynard Leveridge.

SRI LANKA A – Dhananjaya De Silva (captain), Charith Asalanka (vice-captain), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Roshen Silva, Sandun Weerakkody, Ron Chandragupta, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Amila Aponso, Malinda Pushpakumara, Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Vimukthi Perera, Asitha Fernando, Kasun Rajitha.

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