Kemar Roach, the Windies pacer, who returned 5/17 to help dismantle England for 77 in the first Test, said he was “ready to go for the team” despite the hot and testing conditions in Barbados.
He dished out a special bowling performance in his home town, claiming five England scalps within just 27 deliveries.
“I’ve felt better in the past, but today the ball came out of my hand pretty well,” said Roach after the game on Thursday, 24 January. “I was pretty happy with how I felt. Eight overs on the trot was a bit tough, [it] was pretty hot, but I was ready to go for the team.
“I’m happy with my performance today, and to restrict the English to as low as possible and give ourselves a big lead. Proud of my achievement. I have been around for a while, and to be able to take my first fifer at home, is a special feeling.
“We had good plans. The guys out there hit the nail on the head. Today was my day, but second innings could be someone else’s. The guys have been very, very disciplined.”
The Windies were bowled out for 289 before they knocked over England for 77. Deciding against enforcing the follow-on, they went to stumps with 127 runs on the board for the loss of six wickets. The hosts now have a strong foothold in the game, and have built up a lead of 339 runs.
“A lead of 300 is good going into the third day,” Roach pointed out. “But the pitch has toughened up a little bit for the batsmen, so we just need to put runs on the board. It’s a bit jumpy, a bit uneven, some balls are keeping a bit low. I think the aim is just to make the batsmen play as much as possible.
“You can go fuller [on this pitch] and bring them forward, that’s most important, and create some chances and put the batsmen under a lot of pressure. The aim is not to bat last on this pitch. It’s a tough one, and 400 runs on the board is going to be tough for the English. Bowl in the right areas, that’s the plan going forward.”
Moeen Ali, meanwhile, was disappointed with England’s returns with the bat, but credited the hosts for bowling “fantastically well with good pace”. He believes England can still bounce back with a strong performance in the final innings.
“It was a disappointing day and there are always going to be a few guys who make mistakes,” Moeen said. “Even when 40-odd for four, we always think we have the batting and that someone will put their hand up. Today wasn’t the day. They bowled fantastically well with good pace and managed to get us out.
“You never expect these days but they do happen. It’s all about doing it again in the final innings.”