Roach hails breakthrough after slow start for SurreyTuesday, May 04, 2021
LONDON, England (CMC) — West Indies seamer Kemar Roach believes his career-best eight-wicket haul against Hampshire was just reward for his persistence after managing only three wickets from 71 overs in his two opening matches of the County Championship for Surrey.
The 32-year-old picked up eight for 40 to end with match figures of 10 for 80 as the hosts crushed Hampshire by an innings and 289 runs inside three days at the Oval on Saturday.
“I'm extremely happy. I put a lot of work in for the two games I've played before,” Roach said after bowling Surrey to victory.
“[It was] tough work. It was a lot of overs that I bowled and I didn't get much of a reward but to come here, obviously, and put the ball in the right areas and get eight — 10 wickets in the game — it's a fantastic feeling.
“And to do it with a bunch of great guys, it's even better.”
Roach, who was West Indies' leading bowler in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka in the Caribbean last month, found wickets hard to come by in recent weeks.
He managed only two scalps in his first game against Leicestershire at the Oval and scraped only one in a heavy defeat to Middlesex at Lord's last week.
“As a fast bowler it's hard work just to go out there and put the effort in every day,” Roach explained.
“[It] is always tough on our body so to get the rewards at the end is always heartfelt. So I'm very happy [with my career's best] and hopefully I can do it again very soon.”
The victory over Hampshire was Surrey's first of the season and came immediately in the wake of a batting meltdown against Middlesex which led to a 10-wicket loss in three days.
Surrey also lost their opener to Gloucestershire by eight wickets before drawing against Leicestershire.
Roach, who missed the defeat at Bristol, said the response from the team to the Lord's disappointment had been admirable.
“It was fantastic. I think the guys just obviously stuck to the game plan,” said Roach, who has taken 214 Test wickets.
“I thought the game at Lord's was a tough one to lose but I thought the guys came back, we planned well and just went out there and put the work in. We grinded right to the end and we were [well rewarded].”
He continued: “Obviously the Hampshire side is high on confidence. They've done well so far this season so we know it was going to be a tough game coming into it.
“It was a good toss to win. And to go out there and dismiss them for 92 [in their first innings] was a perfect start, and then the way the guys batted was amazing.
“And then to come [Saturday] and top it up and obviously bowl them out was another big step and a good hurdle. I am very proud of the guys. It's on to Leicestershire now and we have to carry this form with us.”
Surrey are now fourth in Group Two on 46 points but Roach said the side would not get carried away.
“We're pleased but we're not getting ahead of ourselves. It's only one win but the guys are high in confidence now and hopefully we can take it on to the rest of the season.”
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