When medium pace mattered
The value and significance of bowling partnerships was emphasised by West Indies left arm medium-pacer Krishmar Santokie who turned in a Man-of-the -Match performance of four for 21, to lead the home side to an impressive five-wicket victory over England.
The win secured the three-match series ahead of the final game to be played at Kensington tomorrow.
Playing in just his fourth match since making his debut against the same opponents at Kennington Oval, England two-and-a-half years ago, the Jamaican took two wickets in each of his two spells, expertly utilising the slower ball in the process. But according to the modest, yet confident seamer it was not just about him.
“It’s the areas that you bowl and the slower ball. The slower ball is very difficult to bat and Badree was bowling good at the other end. So you know pressure from both ends make things a lot easier for us to bowl. When dot balls bowling, not many boundaries scoring, so it makes it a bit easier for us to bowl because the batters are under pressure at all times,” Santokie told the media following the match.
Santokie came into the side as the selectors opted to rest ace spinner Sunil Narine who injured his knee in the opening match.
Though his opportunities have been limited at the international level despite performing consistently for Jamaica, Santokie said he felt no additional pressure even in the company of more established players.
“It’s a good all-round team. Players have their part to play. I have my part to play if given the opportunity. I’ll just be confident and be positive at all times.
“I have been out for a while and been performing over and over. I try to be consistent and hopefully my opportunity will come,” he said.
Much slower in pace than some of his teammates, Santokie gave a bit of insight into his approach and the secret of his success.
“Basically I assess the wicket. I assess the conditions and bowl accordingly. After watching the first game on Sunday I got a few ideas. I watched some videos of the batters. I kind of have an idea of how to bowl to them and the areas they like and the areas they don’t like. I just go out there and try and work on it and make sure that I bowl in the right areas,” he revealed.
“I try to bowl wicket to wicket as close as possible to the batters. Most players in world cricket like to free their hands and it’s best not to give them any width,” he said.
With England now facing the prospect of a whitewash just ahead of the World Cup in Bangladesh, stand-in captain Eoin Morgan remained in an optimistic mood and felt more had been achieved in this match than the first despite the outcome.
“It leaves us with a lot more positives than the other day. We fought really well tonight. We bowled and batted in the middle overs and towards the end much better and we showed a lot of character which is great,” Morgan said at the post-match press briefing.
“Moving into the last game with the potential of turning the West Indies over, the world champions at the moment, would give us great confidence going into the T20 World Cup,’ Morgan said.