Windies paceman Kemar Roach finished with remarkable figures of 11-7-17-5 to bundle out England for just 77 in the first Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday (January 24). Roach’s efforts gave Windies a first-innings lead of 212 after which they reached 127/6 in the second innings - an overall lead of 339 - as 18 wickets fell on the second day of Test.
The hometown hero claimed all five of his wickets for four runs in a 27-ball spell after lunch, as England collapsed from 30 for 1 to 77 all out.
“Today I felt really good running up to the crease. It was really tough bowling but got the rewards,” Roach told the media after the second day’s play.
“The pitch quickened up a bit today, there was a bit more bounce. It's important to be as consistent as possible, we did that as a bowling unit today,” he added.
Roach continued his excellent track record on home soil – he now has 29 wickets in his fifth Test at the historic venue – and today’s effort bettered his previous best figures of 4-55 against New Zealand in 2014.
“It’s always special for me playing here at home, with the family and friends cheering me on. To be able to get my first five-for at home against England, one of the top teams in the world, is a great feeling. The atmosphere was great, it’s always enjoyable to perform in front a big crowd,” the 30-year-old paceman said.
In his 51st Test appearance, Roach was well supported by captain Jason Holder (2-15), Alzarri Joseph (2-20) and Shannon Gabriel (1-15).
“We had good plans. The guys hit the nail on the head. Today was my day but could have easily been someone else’s,” Roach said.
“There is great bond in the team among the fast bowlers — me, Shannon, Alzarri coming back into the team and Jason. All four of us know each other’s bowling and we communicate with each other. We pick up on certain things and pass the information on,” he said about hunting in pack.
After bowling out England in just 30.2 overs, Windies considered enforcing the follow-on but the uneven nature of the pitch changed the team’s mind.
“We don’t want to bat last on the pitch. It would be a bit uneven, so best thing was to have another hit and then bowl last.
“400 is obviously the target. Scoring those many runs on the pitch will be very tough for the English to get. I just put the ball in the right areas. Hopefully we can do it in second innings again. The game is not finished yet,” Roach said.
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