Wed | May 31, 2023

Mansingh plans to stay focused after impressive debut display

Published:Monday | February 6, 2023 | 12:39 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Scorpions batsman Abhijai Mansingh prepares to play a shot while the Leeward Islands Hurricanes wicket-keeper Jahmar Hamilton looks on during the West Indies Cricket Championship match in Antigua and Barbuda last week.
Jamaica Scorpions batsman Abhijai Mansingh prepares to play a shot while the Leeward Islands Hurricanes wicket-keeper Jahmar Hamilton looks on during the West Indies Cricket Championship match in Antigua and Barbuda last week.

A medical problem for Alwyn Williams gave all-rounder Abhijai Mansingh the chance to make his debut for the Jamaica Scorpions against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in their just concluded drawn opening fixture in the West Indies Championship in Antigua and Barbuda, and the 24-year-old grabbed it with both hands.

Mansingh got the nod as a medical replacement for Williams and the right-handed batter and leg-spinner put in an excellent performance.

Mansingh first bagged three wickets in the Hurricanes first innings and then followed that up with a half-century, 56, in the Scorpions’ first turn at the crease.

The Melbourne CC player then returned to snare another two wickets in the Hurricanes’ second innings and then batted until the end on the final day by making 62 not out to save the Scorpions from losing the contest outright.

For Mansingh, the fact that he was thrust into the game, unexpectedly, actually helped to calm his nerve.

“Once I got on to the field I was ready to get into my work and focus on the plans that the coaches formulated with me. Because I was ready, it was simple for me to go out there and execute,” said Mansingh.

Mansingh’s first wicket at the level was none other than the Leeward Islands captain Jahmar Hamilton and the leg-spinner said he did what he was told and it worked out in his favour.

“What coach Nikita Miller and I spoke about was that my job was to take wickets and build pressure, so I was there to attack the batsmen and break partnerships,” he said.

His batting exploits were also highlighted by head coach Andrew Richardson who singled out the former Campion College player for showing character.

“I attributed my runs to my mindset. I had fought a lot in the last few years and I just came into this game with a fighting mindset which helped me to buckle down and bat long,” added Mansingh.”

Mansingh said he also learned a lot in his first outing from the Leeward Islands off-spinning all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall who scored a half-century and took 10 wickets in the match.

“I tip my hat to Rahkeem for how he was able to execute his skill for such long periods which made him stand out from the rest, and that is something that I will take away from this game and try to apply to my game.”

The Scorpions will next face the Barbados Pride at the same venue starting Wednesday and Mansingh is keen on staying grounded going into the fixture.

“The plans remain the same, which is to stay focused and execute my plans. I am not going to get ahead of myself because I have only played one game and I am still inexperienced at this level. The key is to keep my head down,” the young all-rounder said.