(WICB) NORTHAMPTON, England – Kieran Powell said he felt West Indies could now make a push for a morale-boosting victory, following his second first-class hundred that brought the visitors back into their game against England Lions today.
The left-handed Powell hit the top score of 108 that was the rock upon which West Indies built a second innings total of 377 for eight – a lead of 183 – at the close on the third day of the four-day, first-class match at Wantage Road.
“I thought the pitch got better for batting [on Friday] and partially [on Saturday morning],” he said.
“But then it started to keep low at both ends, and we feel once we can get a good total on the board, we can push for a win.”
The match is the final dress rehearsal for West Indies before the first of three Tests against England, starting on Thursday at Lord’s.
Powell said overcoming typically challenging English conditions will be one of the keys for West Indies during the series.
“I’m pretty much as acquainted with the conditions like anyone else in the team,” said Powell, who spent two years at Millfield School in Somerset.
“For me, it’s to reacquaint myself with conditions. It’s different quality bowlers as you would imagine and different grounds. It’s just about getting hold of conditions as much as possible.
“It’s always important to have good days in practice matches and spend as much time as possible in the middle. It is good that we got some time in the middle that was well needed.”
Powell struck 13 fours and one six from 235 balls in 310 minutes, leading a consistent West Indies batting effort that has transformed the complexion of the game.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored 77, Darren Bravo hit 57, his second half-century of the match, Marlon Samuels made 44, and Denesh Ramdin was not out on 31.
Powell said however, batting called for a high level of focus and achieving small targets was another avenue to success.
“I found it difficult starting the innings,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how many runs you had scored. After lunch, after tea, whatever, it was hard to start. But once you had gotten a start, it was all a bit easier.
“Me and Bravo [with whom I added 108 for the fourth wicket] were just trying to take it in spells of five runs, so you got five runs and try to go as long as possible doing this.”
Powell said this might be the approach that could work well for West Indies in the Test series.
“You will have to play according to the conditions,” he said. “We do not know what Lord’s is going to provide differently to this ground or any other ground. You will just have to play what you see and hope for the best.”