Cricket

Ton-up Ambris!

Vincentian propels Windies A to big score, but rains continue to wreak havoc

BY GARFIELD MYERS
Editor at Large, South Central Bureau

Friday, October 13, 2017

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Florence Hall , Trelawny – Vincentian Sunil Ambris's fourth first-class century (106) highlighted a rain-hit second day of the first four-day 'Test' between West Indies A and Sri Lanka A at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium here.

When heavy rain accompanied by lightning chased the players and umpires from the field just over an hour into the post-lunch session with 44 overs bowled in the day, West Indies A had reached 364-8, having resumed at 232-4 yesterday.

The rain had gone at shortly after 4:00 pm and there was occasional sunshine. But wet spots on the bowlers' run-up at both ends and on adjacent areas proved too much for groundsmen using sponges to sop up water. The umpires finally called off play shortly after 5:00 pm.

Play will start half-an-hour early today with West Indies A expected to declare first thing, leaving Sheldon Cottrell, two, and Damion Jacobs, one, unbeaten.

The 24-year-old Ambris hit 12 fours off 156 balls before hitting a tame catch to extra cover off pacer Chamika Karunaratne just before lunch. It was a disappointing way to get out after a fine knock.

Unafraid to hit over the top and strong on the hook, pull and sweep, the well-built, right-handed Ambris also showed a solid defence. After making his One Day International debut in England recently, yesterday's innings further enhanced his claims for a place in the West Indies Test line-up — especially given a solid 2016/17 domestic first class season in which he scored 608 runs, including a double century.

After playing in attacking fashion on the first afternoon, Ambris was much more sedate on the second day, carefully working his way through the 80s and 90s, before hooking pacer Lahini Kumara for four and then a single to reach his century.

He dominated a fifth-wicket stand of 135 with the diminutive, 28-year-old Guyanese Vishaul Singh (81). With play resuming half-an-hour early because of time lost on the first day, Singh fell in mid-morning to fast bowler Asitha Fernando, who found swing with the second new ball.

The left-handed Singh was trapped LBW on the crease with one that swerved back in from outside off stump. Dropped twice in the slips at 17 and 70, Singh, who played three Tests for the West Indies against Pakistan earlier this year before being discarded by the selectors, hit four fours and faced 219 balls.

Singh has developed a liking for the Trelawny ground, having stroked an unbeaten 135 for a West Indies President's X1 against the touring Pakistanis in April – a knock which gave him his place in the West Indies Test team back then.

The departure of Singh at 280-5 and then Ambris, five minutes before lunch at 333-6 was followed by the wickets of the massively built Rahkeem Cornwall for 36 (64 balls, five fours) and Damion Jacobs, 15, before the rains came, as the Sri Lankan bowlers enjoyed their best period of the game.

The visitors will have been encouraged by their bowlers on the second day. The tricky left-arm orthodox spinner Malinda Pushpakumara was the most successful with 3-104 from 36 overs, while pacer Chamika Karunaratne took 2-61. Off spinner Shehan Jayasuriya, and the impressive Fernando took a wicket each.

Scoreboard

WEST INDIES A 1st Innings

(overnight 236 for four)

M Hodge st Weerakkody b Pushpakumara 13

J Campbell st Weerakkody b Jayasuriya 56

*S Brooks run out 19

V Singh lbw b Fernando 81

+J Hamilton lbw b Pushpakumara 6

S Ambris c Fernando b Karunaratne 106

R Cornwall c Jayasuriya b Karunaratne 36

D Jacobs st Weerakkody b Pushpakumara 15

S Cottrell not out 2

K Joseph not out 1

Extras (b10, lb3, w8, nb8) 29

TOTAL (8 wkts, 120 overs) 364

To bat: R Leveridge

Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-76, 3-127, 4-145, 5-281, 6-332, 7-354, 8-363

Bowling: Fernando 16-3-37-1, Kumara 16-1-63-0, Pushpakumara 36-6-104-3, Karunaratne 21-1-61-2, Jayasuriya 17-3-43-1, Silva 6-1-9-0, Hasaranga 3-0-15-0, Shanaka 5-2-19-0

SRI LANKA A – Dhananjaya De Silva (captain), Charith Asalanka (vice-captain), +Sandun Weerakkody, Ron Chandragupta, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dasun Shanaka, Malinda Pushpakumara, Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Asitha Fernando

Toss: West Indies A

Umpires: C Wright, P Gustard

— Garfield Myers

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