Holder happy with Dowrich's return to form
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, (CMC):
West Indies captain Jason Holder said yesterday he was thrilled Shane Dowrich was back among the runs, after watching the diminutive wicketkeeper score his maiden Test hundred on the penultimate day of the second Test against Zimbabwe.
Dowrich has had a wretched run of recent, scraping together 47 runs in his last eight outings to find his place in the squad under scrutiny, with the tour of New Zealand beckoning later this month.
However, with fellow Barbadian Holder as his ally, the right-hander fashioned an accomplished 103 in a 212-run record eighth wicket stand, which propelled West Indies to 448 and a first innings lead of 122.
“It was really enjoyable [batting with Dowrich]. Shane obviously hasn’t had the best of times in the recent past and he was in need of a score and it was really good to be out there and help him along. That was really my determination – to get him to a score,” Holder said following the day’s play at Queens Sports Club.
“At that stage, we were obviously under a bit of pressure. The Zimbabweans bowled well yesterday afternoon and we really needed a partnership to get back in the game and it was down to me and Shane to stay out there and put up a big partnership.”
West Indies had been cruising at 219 for four after lunch on Tuesday’s third day before losing three quick wickets for 11 runs, to slide to 230 for seven.
Holder produced a superb 110 to record his second Test hundred but said the important goal was building a sizeable first innings lead to pressure the Zimbabweans.
“We just wanted to take it in 10-run stages and for me, it was just about getting Shane in. From there, I think he was able to relax and flow,” the all-rounder stressed.
“We just set out to bat some time and put a big partnership together and we were able to get a hundred-run partnership and then onto 150 and then up to 200, which is a remarkable achievement on that pitch especially with the way the Zimbabweans have bowled.”
He added: “Having said, I’m a little disappointed we lost our wickets at that stage. We wanted to lead them by at least 150 runs but I’ll take 120 runs. At the end of the day, it was a really good effort coming from where we were and under a bit of pressure. I would say it was a decent effort.”
Zimbabwe finished the day on 140 for four – 18 runs ahead – after recovering from a dire position of 46 for four thanks to a 94-run, unbroken fifth wicket stand between Sikandar Raza (58 not out) and Peter Moor (39 not out).