Florence Hall , Trelawny — West Indies A middle order batsmen Vishaul Singh and Sunil Ambris as well as opener John Campbell scored half-centuries as Sri Lanka A were made to work hard on day one of the opening four-day ‘Test’ at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium here yesterday.
When the umpires lifted the bails at 5:19 pm because of bad light, West Indies A had reached 232-4 in 76 overs after choosing to bat first on a good pitch with predictable pace and bounce but with strokeplay hampered by a heavy, sluggish outfield.
Play started half-an-hour late because of wet spots on the pitch.
Left-handed Singh, 28, who hit a century the last time he was at the Trelawny Stadium back in April for a West Indies President’s X1 against Pakistan, and the aggressive right-handed Ambris were both on 58 when play ended.
The two have so far shared a fifth -icket stand of 87. Singh, strong off the back foot with cuts, flicks and pulls also showed off the odd delectable front foot drive in facing 174 balls. He has so far hit three fours.
Never afraid to hit the ball over the top, the powerful, big-shouldered 24-year-old Ambris made nonsense of the slow outfield, banging nine fours and facing 74 balls.
Earlier left-handed Campbell (56), composed and assured, hardly played a wrong stroke before losing his head and charging the experienced left-arm orthodox spinner Malinda Pushpakumara to be smartly stumped by wicketkeeper Sandun Weerakkody. By then Campbell, who pulled and cut with aplomb and seemed comfortable against the spinners, had faced 99 balls and hit six fours.
he Pushpakumara/Weerakkody combination had also taken care of Campbell’s opening partner Montcin Hodge (13) – the right-hander swinging against the spin and losing his balance to be stumped. Campbell and Hodge had shared 44 for the first wicket.
Skipper Shamarh Brooks (19) looked good before over-committing to a non-existent single to be caught short of his ground at the non-striker’s end, as Campbell flicked to leg.
Wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton (6) promoted in the order ahead of Ambris, fell LBW first ball after Tea to the off-spinner Shan Jayasuriya (1-39). The score was then 145-4.
But in bright late afternoon sunshine, the no-nonsense Ambris and a patient Singh made hay as fatigue seemed to set in for the Sri Lankans.
Pushpakumara, 30, who started the game with two Tests for Sri Lanka and 563 first-class wickets to his name, was the best of the visting bowlers with 2-58 from 19 overs.
— Garfield Myers