KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Bowling all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall says West Indies A will need to exhibit more patience against Sri Lanka A’s spin attack, in order to win the decisive third four-day “Test” starting here today.
In the second “Test” last week, the hosts failed to come to grips with left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara who finished with a 12-wicket haul, and collapsed to a 280-run defeat inside three days at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium.
The result left the series level 1-1 following Windies A’s innings victory a week earlier at the same venue, and Cornwall said a series win would now require a higher level of commitment from the batsmen.
“Our performance was not up to standard. We did not bat well enough to keep the Sri Lankans out of the game and win the series in the second match,” the 24-year-old said.
“The pitch was spin-bowling friendly. I got seven wickets and [Pushpakumara)] got 12, so the result hinged on whichever team batted the spin well – Sri Lanka did it and we did not, so they won.
“We have the final ‘Test’ coming up and this will be played under the lights, which will be a challenge in itself, so it is important that we prepare well and get everything ready and right for that game because once we play to our potential there is no doubt that we can win the series.”
Despite the recent defeat, Cornwall remained consistent, collecting a seven-wicket haul with his sharp of-spin and move his aggregate for the series to 13 wickets.
He also top-scored in the West Indies A first innings with a brisk 45-ball 45 to continue to reiterate his claim as a genuine all-rounder.
Cornwall, who took 23 wickets on a similar three-match “Test” tour of Sri Lanka last year, said patience had been key to his all-round success.
“My bowling is getting back there. I have been out of the game for a little bit. I went to the United States to work on my fitness and so I am working on getting my bowling back to where it was previously,” the Antiguan explained. “My success in the two matches so far has all been about being patience and putting the ball in the right areas, and also in my batting, using the patient approach, playing as straight as possible, playing in the ‘V’ and when they come into your areas, look to score.”
He added: “Being patient enough to consistently put the ball in the right areas is also important because it leaves the batsman to either make the mistake or a good ball to take a wicket.”
Cornwall has been named in an unchanged 13-man squad for the final “Test” bowling off at Sabina Park at 2 pm.