Sir Curtly hails Brathwaite, Cornwall final day heroics


Sir Curtly hails Brathwaite, Cornwall final day heroics

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

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ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — Fast bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose has singled out interim Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall for special praise, following their superb contributions on the final day which helped West Indies win the second Test against Bangladesh last Sunday.

Brathwaite drew plaudits for his inspired field settings, rotation of bowlers and overall decision-making, which also saw him snatch three wickets in an inspired spell of off-spin.

Meanwhile, Man of the Match Cornwall grabbed four wickets and three sharp slip catches as the Caribbean side produced a magnificent effort to stop Bangladesh reaching an uncomplicated target of 231 in Dhaka.

“I thought the captaincy was good. Kraigg Brathwaite, he was innovative, rotated his bowlers quite well, and he followed his gut feeling from time to time and generally, as a West Indian, I am happy for the guys,” Sir Curtly said here during the ongoing Super50 Cup, for which he is a member of the television commentary team.

In the end, West Indies pulled off a nerve-jangling, 17-run victory to complete a 2-0 series whitewash, following their first Test win in Chattogram.

Regarding Cornwall, who finished the match with nine wickets, Sir Curly said he had not been surprised by his fellow Antiguan's performance.

“Rahkeem Cornwall has been doing well for a number of years. Whether it's been Leeward Islands cricket, West Indies or A-team cricket for that matter, he's always been producing with the ball.

“He's still, in my opinion, the best off-spinner in the Caribbean, and nine wickets was a tremendous effort and a few catches as well.”

The tour had been overshadowed by the withdrawal of 10 first-choice players across both the one-day and Test formats, leaving selectors with no choice but to send an inexperienced unit.

But while West Indies were soundly thrashed in the three-match one-day series after trotting out 10 debutants, the Test side played outstandingly to win the first Test by three wickets before following up with another shock win in the second Test.

Two of the three debutants in the Test side featured prominently in the series. Kyle Mayers struck a historic, unbeaten double-hundred in the fourth innings of the first Test while Nkrumah Bonner hit 86 as West Indies chased down 395 to win on the final day.

Bonner went on to score 90 and 38 in the second Test to earn Man of the Series honours.

“[It was an] exceptional performance from the young players,” said Sir Curtly.

“[There were] so many debutants when, of course, not too many people gave them a chance of competing, let alone winning; and to have won the series 2-0, I'm very, very happy for the guys.”

And after failing to win two Tests away from home for nearly a decade, Sir Curtly said the success in Bangladesh had special significance.

“[The victory in the second Test] may not have been as exciting as the first one, because chasing 395 on a fifth-day wicket is always a big challenge,” he pointed out.

“But nevertheless, the importance about the second Test is that we won it and we won the series 2-0, which is important.

“It has been years we haven't done that in that part of the world, so I'm happy for the guys…and can't wait to see them next series.”

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