Comeback kid Benn taking five-wicket haul in stride

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn believes his five-wicket haul against New Zealand on Thursday was not his best performance but says he is still pleased with the effort.

Sulieman Benn
Sulieman Benn

The lanky six-foot, seven-inch bowler claimed five for 93 – his fourth career five-wicket haul – as West Indies dismissed the Black Caps for 293 on the opening day of the decisive third Test at Kensington Oval.

“I have a very good rhythm and the ball is coming out well. I would say I bowled OK today, I won’t say I was at my very best but I’m happy with the five wickets and the position we are in,” Benn said afterward.

“To bowl out a team for under 300 after they won the toss and decided to bat, as a team, we would take that any day.”

The manner of his wickets was impressive. He prised out the prolific Kane Williamson for 43, to a catch at slip by Chris Gayle, put captain Brendon McCullum (31) in a tangle and forced him to top edge one to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, before having BJ Watling taken at slip again by Gayle.

He bowled Tim Southee for six and appropriately took the last wicket when he had Trent Boult stumped for 12.

“I have worked hard throughout the series and if results come through my hard work I will take that,” the Barbadian said. “They scored a lot of runs but we bowled wicket-taking balls so overall we are quite satisfied with the position.”

Benn is playing his first Test series in 3-1/2 years but has been impressive throughout. He took four wickets in the Sabina Park first Test and five at Queen’s Park Oval last week.

The 32-year-old said he knew what to expect from the Kensington pitch.

“Kensington Oval always offers bounce for spinners. Once you get the ball in the right areas that will help you as well, so I wanted to make sure I bowled with control, maintained the pressure,” he noted.

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