All-rounder Jason Holder claimed his eighth five-wicket haul (5-27) in the longest format as West Indies bowled out Sri Lanka for a paltry 169 on Day 1 of the opening Test.
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Apart from Holder, Kemar Roach dismantled the visitors with the figures of 3 for 47 while the hosts ended the day with 13/0 on the board.
After the day’s play, Holder commended his team’s brilliant showing but called on the top-order batsmen to apply pressure on Day 2.
“We’ve got to start well tomorrow (Monday), it’s a new day. We have to make them (Sri Lanka) really work hard for our wickets. It’s important for John and Kraigg to lay the foundation.
“If they can bat that first session it would be brilliant for us and put us into good stead going into the next half of the day. It’s a really good wicket, it was quite slower today but I think it should quicken up a little bit better tomorrow and be a little bit easier for stroke-play,” the former West Indies Test captain quoted as saying by Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.
Holder also showered rich praise on Roach for his fantastic spell while he acknowledged the able support from Rahkeem Cornwall (1-25) and Alzarri Joseph (0-32).
“It was a really good day’s play for us. I thought our bowlers got the job done. If I’m being over critical maybe we didn’t use the new ball as well as we probably liked. It’s good to see Kemar Roach putting up his hand once again leading the way for us.
“I was able to support him. Rahkeem Cornwall also did an outstanding job holding things tightly on his end. Shannon probably wasn’t his best today but he still ran out and gave a really good effort, as too Alzarri (Joseph). I think all in all, a pretty good effort from our bowlers,” he remarked.
Lahiru Thirimanne (70), Dinesh Chandimal (4), Niroshan Dickwella (32), Suranga Lakmal (3) and Lasith Embuldeniya (3) were the victims of Holder as West Indies dominated the first day.
An outstanding bowling performance from Jason Holder!????Take a bow @Jaseholder98 ???? pic.twitter.com/PJ6fvTmxET
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 21, 2021
While Holder expressed his delight on another five-wicket haul, he hoped to have a strong Day 2 to tighten the grip in the Test match.
“It’s a pleasing feeling. It’s right up there with any other five-wicket haul that have gone. The job isn’t finished. There’s still a lot of cricket to be played.
“Our next priority is to put a big score on the board and then give our bowlers something really nice to run at the Sri Lankan players in the second innings,” he said.
“To bowl a team out on the first day is a pleasing feeling. To be without loss at the end of the day’s play is also really good. That session there with Kraigg and John was very important for us to keep the Sri Lankan bowlers at bay and not give them anything in that evening burst. It’s important, starting tomorrow (Monday), to build a foundation and bat really big in this first innings,” Holder continued.