Job well done, says Sammy

Galle, Sri Lanka – West Indies captain Darren Sammy has given his team top marks for the performance in the 1st ERI Test match against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium. The Windies played well throughout the five days and according to Sammy they left the southern coastal town “feeling good about how we played and what we achieved as a team”.

The Windies batted first and made 580-9 declared. Sri Lanka made 378 in the first innings. Forced to follow-on, they reached 241-4 when rain brought the match to an early end on Friday.

“The guys have been working really hard, before we came to Sri Lanka and ever since we have been here, and it showed in the way we played in this Test match. Obviously a win would have been very good but it is still a good, strong performance by the team. I would say we dominated the match and we are confident as we move on to Colombo. We came away with a draw and we now look to the next two Test matches. We have momentum and we just have to stay focussed and keep improving as a team,” Sammy said.

“When we started this Test match we had our goals and as batting unit we met all our targets. It was a job well done. To score close to 600 and being able to declare was very good to see. Chris Gayle played a superb knock and that helped to set-up things for us.

Gayle won the Man-of-the-Match award for his record-breaking 333, which saw him jump 11 places and into the Top 10 in the ICC Test match batting rankings. Off-spinner Shane Shillingford took five wickets in the match, including a career-best 4-123 in the first innings. Fast bowler Kemar Roach also took five wickets in the match, including two in quick time on the final morning.

“On the bowling side, it was good to see the way the bowlers went about their business. We created many chances on what was a really good pitch for batting and we kept the pressure on the Sri Lankans. Everyone put in a big effort. To get 14 Sri Lankan wickets on that kind of pitch took some hard work. Shane is really a workhorse. When he gets the ball he doesn't want to put it down. A guy with an attitude like that augurs well for the future. Roach bowled with good pace and worried all the Sri Lankans. He kept running in and did all that was asked of him.”

The 2nd ERI Test bowls off on Tuesday at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. First ball is 10 am (12.30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/11.30 pm Monday Jamaica Time).