Fiver gives Cottrell 'right kind of start'
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa:
Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell got his tour off on the right foot with an impressive five-wicket haul as the West Indies dominated the South Africa Invitational XI on the opening day of their three-day fixture at Willowmoore Park yesterday.
The 25-year-old Jamaican said he enjoyed bowling on the helpful surface as he troubled the youthful local batsmen with pace and swing. He ended with figures of five wickets for 16 runs off 6.1 overs as the home side was bowled out for just 125.
"It was a wonderful day for me, the right kind of start I was looking for on the tour. I was happy to get the new ball and I just ran in and looked to bowl with pace and troubled the batsmen," said Cottrell.
"I was pleased with the way I was able to get it (ball) to swing and also the extra pace and bounce. That was a good confidence booster for me. The conditions are suitable to fast bowling and as a fast bowler I love to see the ball fly off the pitch," he added:
At the close, West Indies motored to 217-2 off just 47 overs - an overall lead of 92.
Marlon Samuels batted beautifully for 103 not out off 102 balls with 19 fours, while Devon Smith is unbeaten on 82, with 12 fours and a six. The pair has so far added 182 for the third wicket.
Keen to play
The warm-up is the only match for the West Indies ahead of the first Test - which runs from December 17-21 - and Cottrell is keen to play.
"I'm open-minded. Once the selectors select me I know my task and once they pick me I know what my job is. I'm willing to do that job if called on to play in the first match next week. It's a big opportunity. I'm looking forward to any and every opportunity."
The game is the left-hander's second since recovering from injury. He also took a five-for in helping Jamaica Franchise beat Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel is the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Caribbean Professional League. The WICB had requested that Cottrell stay behind and play that match to prove his fitness.
"I was out for around five weeks and it was a bit doubtful if I would make this tour. Playing in the Professional Cricket League back home gave me some much-needed right kind of work as I took five wickets in the last match (for Jamaica against Trinidad & Tobago) so it gave me a confidence booster coming into this tour," he noted.