Homeboy shines for mum and dad
Roseau, Dominica — Shane Shillingford said it was “my best day in Test cricket” as he had an excellent four-wicket performance to give West Indies the upper hand over Australia on the opening day of the third and final Digicel Test.
The tall off-spinner on Monday became the first Dominican to play a Test match on home soil at Windsor Park, and said he was urged on by presence of his father Henson, mother Ruthina and other members of the Shillingford household who watched and cheered in the Irving and Grayson Shillingford Stand.
“It felt really great to be play for West Indies in front of my family, especially my mother and my father, and I knew I had to do something special,” said Shane, who had the honour of leading the West Indies onto the field after Australia won the toss and decided to bat first.
“I would say it was my best day in Test cricket in my short career so far. Not because I took four wickets, but more because of the control and the how I was able to put the batsmen under pressure and then get those wickets. My entire family was there, it was so exciting to see the fans supporting me. I tried to keep my focus because I knew a lot of things would be expected.”
The 29-year-old was cheered by the members in the colourful crowd and closed the day with the remarkable figures of 34-8-77-4 as Australia reached 212-7 off 90 overs. He showed great control and got the ball to bounce and turn and used all his variations. He said the pitch was a good one eventhough he got a bit more turn than expected.
In an outstanding spell from the Pavilion End, Shane accounted Australia’s most experienced batsmen — Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey all to close in catches — as well as opener David Warner, who was made to work hard for his topscore of 50.
“Getting these guys out, those are guys who when they get in score a lot of runs, the likes of Ponting and so on, it’s a real honour. I have really been working hard at my bowling and I am getting results. I always back myself and believe I can do the job,” he said.
“I normally get a good amount of bounce but usually on the second or third day, not on the first. Especially with the amount of spin I got too, that was a little surprising. Getting that bounce and turn I started feeling well, I just knew there and then the length and line that I needed to hit.”
He added: “I was a little nervous leading the guys out on to the field but the skipper told me to keep my cool, just play my normal game. I did and it all just flowed from there.”