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Windies ready for historic day/night Test

Friday, June 22, 2018

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Speedster Shannon Gabriel could prove to be a key factor on a “green” and bowler friendly-looking pitch at Kensington Oval, as West Indies chase a rare series win in the historic day/night third and final Test which bowls off here Saturday.

Apart from the possibility of a Windies series win, the contest holds massive significance as it is the first day/night Test in the Caribbean using the pink ball, and will also mark 90 years of Test cricket for the West Indies.

The Caribbean side played their first Test at Lord's against England on June 23, 1928.
Captain Jason Holder, buoyed by the prospect of another series triumph, said he was excited to see a fresh covering of grass on the surface but cautioned about the strong challenge expected from Sri Lanka.

“We expect the Sri Lankans to come hard at us. They are a good team and they have some really good players in their squad,” Holder said on the eve of the series-decider.

“But we will be looking at our processes and what we have to do to win the match. We're leading 1-0 and we want to win the series. We believe we can win this match and take the series. We have bowled well, batted well and fielded well.”

He added: “It's an interesting deck. The last two times we played here I didn't see so much grass. This is probably the best I have seen the outfield in a very long time. We're really looking forward to the match.”

The match will be the first one in the series to be played under lights but Holder said he expected his players to make the adjustment.

“The transition between day and night can be a bit difficult. Here in the Caribbean we are playing two sessions under lights, as opposed to two sessions in daylight and one in the night as we did previously,” the all-rounder explained.

“I expect a really good game. Shannon has been sensational all series and he has done everything asked of him. He's led the attack and is looking excited about the prospects here in Barbados.”

He added: “We're comfortable playing pink ball cricket and this will be a special occasion for us as a team playing the first pink ball Test in the West Indies. We have played two pink ball Tests before [against Pakistan in Dubai and against England at Edgbaston.]

“West Indies lead the series 1-0 after they completely outplayed the visitors in the first match at Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad to win by 226-runs, and then earned a hard-fought draw in the second match at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground last week.

Windies have a good recent record at Kensington Oval in Tests. In 2015, they beat England by six wickets inside three days to level the Wisden Trophy Series 1-1.

SQUADS:

WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Devendra Bishoo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Miguel Cummins, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Kieran Roach, Jahmar Hamilton, Devon Smith.

SRI LANKA
– Mahela Udawatte, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Rajitha, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando.

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