NORTH SOUND, Antigua CMC – Kemar Roach has allayed fears over his continued participation in the opening Test against Bangladesh, by stating his availability to bowl in the second innings.
The 30-year-old seamer produced a magical spell of five wickets for eight runs off just five overs but then limped off the field clutching his right hamstring, and did not return for the remainder of the innings.
Bangladesh were dismissed for their lowest-ever Test total of 43, after Roach left them tottering on 18 for five inside the first hour at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.
“Running in I felt something in my hamstring. It started to get worse as I went on,” Roach said afterwards. “I pulled out of the innings obviously to get some treatment … and I think I’m ready to go out in the second innings again.”
Gaining bounce and movement from a grassy surface, Roach stunned the Bangladesh top order after the Windies won the toss and elected to bowl.
He grabbed his first wicket in his third over, claimed another in his fourth before turning the game on its head with three crucial wickets in his fifth.
“It felt good obviously. It (the first wicket) came pretty rapid and it was a bit surprising,” the right-armer explained.
“But to go out there and perform for West Indies is always the main goal and to do that today, obviously it put the West Indies in a good position. I’m happy with that.”
Half-centuries from openers Kraigg Brathwaite (88 not out) and Devon Smith (58), in a 113-run opening stand, then enabled the hosts to end the day in command on 201 for two.
And Roach believes once West Indies can run up a big score in their first innings, it will further strengthen their chances of a convincing win.
“Plans? Bat once, 450-500 runs on the board I think is going to be tough to get, so once we bat and score those runs, I think we’ll be fine to win this Test match.”
West Indies lead by 158 runs going into today’s day two.