(WICB) PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — West Indies all-rounder Narsingh Deonarine made a successful return to international cricket with the ball, as he played a crucial role in his team’s fight-back against Australia on the final day of the first Digicel Test on Wednesday.
Deonarine, recalled to the team for his first Test in two years, took career-best figures of four wickets for 53 runs with his off-breaks, as the West Indies tried gallantly to defend the 192 they set the Aussies for victory on the final afternoon at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
He came on midway in the final session and got the key wickets of Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke to bring West Indies right back into the contest. In the end, the Aussies reached the target for seven wickets, as the game came to a thrilling climax with shadows lengthened across the historic venue.
“When I was bowling, I felt I could bowl them out,” he said. “I believed I could do the job and win us the match. I was confident. . .I was thinking positive.
“When the captain gave me the ball he asked me to keep it tight and look to bowl into the ‘rough’. We had an idea that would trouble the batsmen. That worked really well and I got the wickets we were looking for at that stage.”
Deonarine added: “We needed someone to step up to the plate and I was happy I could do the job. I got the full support of everyone around me and everyone was encouraging me.
“I ended up with four wickets, but I kept looking for more and tried to help us to win. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but played some hard cricket and we will take that spirit with us and be ready for the second match.”
The left-hander made 21 in both innings – he batted enterprisingly in the first innings and played resolutely in the second innings.
His aim is to dig in when he gets the chance in the second Digicel Test, beginning on Sunday at Queen’s Park Oval.
The Windies arrived in Port-of-Spain on Thursday afternoon, as they prepare for the second match of the three for the Frank Worrell Trophy.
“I feel really good to be back in the team and I am really comfortable in the environment,” he said. “Everyone has welcomed me back and I am clear about what is my role in the team.
“I want to get some runs in the next match. I will be looking for a big score and to help push the team forward. We didn’t play bad cricket in Barbados, but we just let it get away from us on the fourth day, so we have to fix that.”