T&T fail to take advantage of Rampaul burst
KINGSTOWN, ST VINCENT - As if he had drink some type of magic potion during the first drinks break after Lunch, Ravi Rampaul single-handedly fired Trinidad and Tobago back into the match with his first over after the break.
Rampaul struck three times in his over to send the Windward Islands plummeting from a position of 124/0 to 124/3. Before then, T&T were quickly being batted out of the game by Windward openers, Devon Smith and Tyrone Theophile.
But Rampaul emphatically changed the whole feeling of the occasion, bowling a rare triple-wicket maiden over. On the first ball after the resumption of play, Rampaul got the edge of Theophile, who up until then, had only offered a half-chance to Lendl Simmons at second slip. On 70, he edged through to give Denesh Ramdin an easy catch. Two deliveries later, he accounted, he got his third ball to lift aggressively to new batsman, Andre Fletcher, and Ramdin completed his second catch.
The over also ended on a high for T&T when a similar delivery to that of Fletcher's, was played on by Donwell Hector. In a single over, T&T were boosted by the West Indies pacer's brilliance.
However, T&T failed to take advantage of Rampaul's five wicket haul, that also included the wickets of Liam Sebastien and Delorn Johnson.
He said after the day's play, "It's good to go out there and get a five wicket haul. The batting didn't really come through for us in the first innings and we found ourselves in a spot of bother in the second innings but we still have a lot of recognised batters to come so hopefully we come tomorrow, play the patience game, get a good score, and make something out of the game."
He concedes the batting wasn't at its best, but also admitted the pitch is a difficult one to bat. He continued, "It's a tough wicket. We wasn't getting much lateral movement. The ball wasn't moving, swinging at all. We just needed to build some pressure, be patient, and hopefully, when we get a wicket, apply the pressure and take some more wickets. The three wickets in the over came in good for us."
So what exactly was the discussion about during that crucial drinks break? According to Ravi, nothing much. He said of the meeting, "It was basically, we were not getting any wickets, and we were under pressure, so the captain told me to come and try and get a wicket."
With Ravi fit again, and with the Zimbabweans coming to town, the puzzle seems to be coming together just in time for him. As he says, he's eager to get back in the West Indies team. "It was nice to put something in the selectors mind; I'm here, I'm fit, and I'm ready to play, so hopefully they'll see that and I'll get back in."
But in the immediate future, as in Day 3, Ravi may have to step up with the bat, and put in a five-wicket performance with the bat. His never-say-die attitude continues to ring through his words, "All of us have a part to play, the next five batters, and hopefully, we can go out there and apply ourselves properly, and put a score on the board that we can bowl to and defend."