'A' good feeling

Skipper Powell dedicates Windies victories to fans, regional game

Senior staff reporter

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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AFTER West Indies A beat England Lions in the second “Test” at Sabina Park to take an unassailable two-nil lead in the three-match series, the home team's Captain Kieran Powell has dedicated the triumph to regional cricket and its supporters.

The A team completed a convincing innings and 17-run victory on Tuesday's third day of the four-day contest to pile misery on the visitors, who lost the opening unofficial Test by two wickets last week at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.

“It's a very good win for the West Indies. Any time we win any series, whether it's international or [at] the A team level, it bodes well for Caribbean cricket and for the confidence of Caribbean players and Caribbean,” Powell, 27, said during a post-game interview.

Victory was set up over the first two days after West Indies A dismantled England Lions for 145 in their first innings after winning the toss and sending them to take first strike. Left-arm finger spinner Jomel Warrican, 25, took a first-class career best 8-34.

The home team's batting reply was 422 all out with Jahmar Hamilton (100) and Raymon Reifer (95) leading the way. The Lions' left-arm finger spinner Jack Leach snared 6-138.

Warrican and off break bowler Rahkeem Cornwall then took four wickets each to dismiss the Lions for 260 in their second innings.

Powell noted it was not all smooth sailing for the hosts. An 83-run, sixth-wicket stand between Liam Livingstone (48) and Paul Coughlin (47), and a 43-run partnership for the ninth wicket between Leach (29) and Mason Crane, which struck 25 not out, delayed the inevitable.

“We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We knew the English weren't going to come and surrender and just let us beat them like that. We were frustrated by the tailenders, but having said that, we still had a day of cricket left, if necessary, so to be able to pull off an innings victory just shows how much control we had over the game,” he said.

“It's a good win against England Lions, but we still got another game to play,” Powell cautioned, looking to the final Test at Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua which starts Monday.

The Englishmen could look at how their batting fell short, especially in the first innings—albeit on a surface that offered grip and turn on day one—and how the bowling, in general, lacked energy and penetration, outside of the fabulous Leach.

“Potentially, there is criticism of our bowlers, [and] our batters, but at the end of the day we are a team and we are in this scrap together... as a unit you're going to make sure you're pulling each other over the line. Together we need to scrap and we haven't done that quite well enough,” was 25-year-old skipper Keaton Jennings' take on what led to the loss.

Warrican was pleased with his 12-wicket haul that won him the man of the match award for a second-straight game after previously starring with bat and ball in Trelawny, but is not ready to relent against the struggling visitors.

“It was a very good bowling performance that put the team in a very good position to win the series, so I'm happy with that. I had to be patient and be disciplined, and continued to do the basics.

“We want the clean sweep, so we go to Antigua hungry and play like we did in the first game and look to win,” he emphasised.

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