Jamaica Observer / FLORENCE HALL, Trelawny — West Indies ‘A’ all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall says he is not worried about the prospect of his team batting last against England Lions despite the substantial turn extracted from the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium pitch yesterday. At close of play on the first day of the opening ‘Test’, the Lions, who lost the toss and were asked to take first strike, battled to 232-6 on a dry surface.
The 25-year-old Cornwall, bowling a tidy line and length with his deceptive off-spinners, ended with 3-63 off 32 overs.
“Not really concerned, [because] once we get a good first-innings score we can restrict them. I think it was a little bit slow, so you just had to put the ball in the right areas,” Cornwall told the Jamaica Observer during an interview at the end of the day.
All-rounder Paul Coughlin has top-scored so far for the Englishmen, with 51 not out, while left-handers Nick Gubbins and Keaton Jennings added 50 and 49, respectively.
But it was slow going for the Lions against the hosts, who extensively used their slower bowlers. Cornwall, slow left-arm orthodox bowler Jomel Warrican and off-spinner John Campbell combined for 61 of the 96 overs bowled in the day.
“I think they played well. I’m not surprised [about the turn] because we see there is no grass, so once we see that we know the ball is going to spin. It’s a dry surface so as day two and day three comes along hopefully we put the balls in the right areas and get more wickets,” the Antiguan said.
Coughlin, 25, on his first visit to the Caribbean, said he was pleased with notching a half-century on debut for the Lions.
“An unbeaten 50 so far, and I’m hoping to carry on in the morning. I’m just getting used to the different wickets out here — it’s a bit subcontinent the way the ball spins… and I’m enjoying the challenge.
“It’s tough against the spin because some are sliding on and some are spinning quite sharply and there is bounce. As you face more balls you get a truer grip of what’s going on, so it definitely got easier as the innings went on,” said the Englishman.
The Durham pace bowler said he is looking forward to bowling in this match, despite the seeming advantage for slower bowlers.
“I think there is enough in it for the seamers — a little bit a seam movement every now and again. Especially with the new ball, you still going to get a little bit of movement, so I’m looking to get out there [to bowl],” he explained.
— Sanjay Myers