HARARE, Zimbabwe (CMC) — West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick has hailed the contributions of the three debutants, which helped propel the Caribbean side to a convincing victory over Sri Lanka in their opening game of the Tri-Nations Series here Wednesday.
Wicketkeeper Shai Hope stroked 47 and all-rounder Rovman Powell smashed 44 as West Indies were dismissed for 227 after being sent in at the Harare Sports Club.
Off-spinner Ashley Nurse then also starred on debut with three for 46 as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 165, to go down by 62 runs.
“[Nurse] had a good debut but there’s still room for improvement. I always believe you can improve and there were still one or two bad balls and he would know that, but he will be happy that on debut he can go and take three wickets and take two good catches,” Estwick said.
“And he also looked good even though he didn’t get that many [runs] so we’ve got to be happy with the debutants. It shows that we’ve got talent but discipline and hard work has to go with the talent as well.”
The trio, along with left-hander Jonathan Carter who top-scored with 54 on his 29th birthday, helped pull West Indies out of trouble after they slipped to 27 for two early on.
Carter and Hope put on 53 for the fourth wicket before Carter and Powell added a further 43 for the fifth as West Indies controlled the middle overs.
Powell then blasted two fours and three sixes in a 29-ball cameo which allowed the Windies to close well.
“It shows that once you plan right, once you stick to your game plans, you’ve obviously got a chance and once the spirit in the camp is good as well, that also makes life a little bit easier,” Estwick pointed out.
“We did those two things very well today. We never panicked at any stage at all, even though we were [batting] a lot slower than we would like. We were looking for 250, having looked at the pitch and having been asked to bat first but we stuck with it.
“Young Shai Hope played well, Jonathan Carter played well and Rovman Powell was exceptional. I thought he gave the innings major impetus and those are the things you are looking for – for young players to hold their hands up and come to the party.”
West Indies followed up with a clinical bowling performance with captain and seamer Jason Holder getting two wickets up front in a classy eight-over spell and speedster Shannon Gabriel bowling with aggression to claim three.
Estwick said the players were now beginning to display the ability and execution which was necessary in order to succeed at the international level.
“It shows the boys are putting in the work. Jason has made one or two technical changes and it’s beginning to work and you come out of your last Test match with five wickets and now you come here and you bowl well — you get bounce, you look aggressive,” Estwick said.
“Once we keep working hard and once we keep planning and stay disciplined, keep that team spirit up and that camaraderie [we will do well].”