PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – West Indies head coach, Stuart Law, expects stylish left-hander Kieran Powell to convert one of his many starts into a hundred very soon.
The 28-year-old has endured a frustrating run since his return to the Test scene last year following a three-year self-imposed break, getting a number of decent starts but managing just three half-centuries.
Powell looked set to break the jinx in the opening Test against Sri Lanka but fell agonising short of three figures on 88 in the second innings.
“It’s just a shame he got out the way he did. He was playing so well – using his feet to the spinners and driving down the ground straight against the quicks,” Law said.
“He’s going to hurt someone soon, let’s hope it’s in the next Test match that he gets a big hundred. That would be great for him and great for the team of course.”
Powell has three Test match hundreds – two coming in his 12th Test against Bangladesh six years ago in Dhaka – along with five half-centuries but averages only 29 in Tests.
However, he averages 32 in his last 11 Tests inside the last year with a highest score of 90 against minnows Zimbabwe last October.
He had a mixed series against New Zealand last December, registering a dreaded ‘pair’ in the final Test but Law said the player seemed to have brushed off that disappointment.
“To be honest, this Test match is probably the best I’ve seen him play,” the Australian pointed out.
“In the lead-up to it in Barbados at the camp, he was striking the ball [well] and was probably our best player coming into this Test match and he showed that out there.”
Much was made of the Queen’s Park Oval pitch which yielded 414 for eight declared for West Indies in their first innings but then saw Sri Lanka dismissed cheaply in reply, as the hosts went on to nail an emphatic 226-run victory on the final day.
Law believes the strip was a decent one for Test cricket where both batsmen and bowlers had a chance to excel.
“The wicket has been good. The first two innings it was difficult to bat on and our boys applied themselves really well,” he explained.
“And to bowl Sri Lanka out for  was a testament to that. It was difficult, we had to fight it out but it got better and better.”
The second Test bowls off Thursday at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.