Brilliant Roach brightens rain-hit day as Essex stumble
CHELMSFORD, England, (CMC):
Fast bowler Kemar Roach erased any doubt about his form and fitness with a brilliant spell which brightened an otherwise dour second day of the West Indies three-day tour game against Essex here yesterday.
Only two hours of play were possible at Essex County Ground as heavy rain, which started during the lunch interval and continued into the afternoon, forced officials to abandon play at 3:15 pm.
However, Roach made the most of the time available, putting on an excellent exhibition of swing bowling, to end with three for 17 from six overs as Essex stumbled to the interval on 47 for four.
West Indies had earlier declared their first innings on 338 for eight after resuming the day on 309 for eight. Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, starting on 28, scored 44 not out off 67 deliveries with seven boundaries.
Roach then increased West Indies' stranglehold on the contest when he had opener Varun Chopra caught at third slip by a diving Kyle Hope off the third ball of the innings for nought, edging an outswinger without a run on the board.
He followed up by comprehensively bowling Dan Lawrence for eight in the seventh over with one that nipped back before completing a superb spell by trapping Adam Wheater leg before wicket, also without scoring, with a full length delivery nine balls later.
Slumping at 19 for three, Essex found themselves in further trouble when pacer Miguel Cummins, who shared the new ball, claimed captain Ryan ten Doeschate leg before wicket for six.
Opener Nick Browne then managed survive the Windies onslaught, battling 52 balls and a 1-1/4 hours for his unbeaten 16, to take Essex to lunch without further loss.
Roach is returning to the Windies side for the first time in 19 months after battling injury and loss of form, and his performance will be a huge boost for the Caribbean side ahead of their three-Test tour against England starting in two weeks.