Double a dream come true, says elated Holder

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Test captain Jason Holder said Friday scoring a hundred before his home crowd at Kensington Oval had been the fulfillment of a dream he harboured from the start of his career.

The 27-year-old smashed an entertaining unbeaten 202 on Friday’s third day as West Indies dominated England and set then 628 to win the opening Test of the three-match series.

“It was a good day. My friends and family were here to enjoy it, as I really wanted to achieve this from the very start of my career,” Holder said.

“I was fortunate to make my debut here in front of my home crowd [against New Zealand in 2014], and since then I’ve made four or five half-centuries, it was just a matter of converting one into a hundred. I finally got the hundred and made it into a double.”

Holder started the day on seven and quickly sped to half-century, before complete his hundred off just 99 deliveries, in the third over after lunch.

Unbeaten on 155 at tea, Holder reached his double hundred nearly three quarters of an hour after the interval. He counted 23 fours and eight sixes in an innings requiring just 229 balls in 4-¾ hours.

“I guess it will be right up there,” Holder said of the innings.

“This one feels really good but obviously my first Test hundred against England, under the circumstances in which I scored it probably still stands out but definitely this one is right up there and I am really pleased with it.”

The knock was Holder’s third hundred following landmarks against England in 2015 and against Zimbabwe two years later.

And while it confirmed Holder’s standing as one of the world’s leading all-rounders, the Barbadian said he was just happy to continue helping West Indies rebuild.

“Whatever I need to do in order for his team to win cricket games, I’ll stick my hand up and do it,” he told reporters.

“We needed a partnership today (yesterday), we got a really big partnership and tomorrow (Saturday) it is required for us to come out and get some wickets so I’ve got to put my hand up again and try and break the shackles and get in to their middle order.”

Holder, watched by his mother and close friends, featured in a record seventh wicket stand of 295 with another close friend, Shane Dowrich, who made an unbeaten 116.

Together, they took West Indies from 127 for six at the start of the day to 415 without further loss, to put their side in a near impregnable position.

“I am really pleased for Shane. I came in and flew past him at one stage and I got to my hundred pretty quickly,” Holder said.

“I think when I was a hundred he was around 60-odd so I still had a lot of work to do in ensuring he got to his hundred as well. I told him I’d stay out here for him so let’s keep piling on the runs.

“He’s grown leaps and bounds. He was probably a little slow to start but he’s really coming into his own now and I think he’s gotten those three Test centuries probably in the space of 12 months so it’s really good for him and hopefully he can continue to press forward and set some records.”

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