West Indies Middle order batsman Marlon Samuels says he has found renewed confidence approaching the start of the first Test match against South Africa which begins on Wednesday.
Samuels powered his way to a double century to lift West Indies to a mammoth 508 in their first innings against a South African Invitational X1 on the second day of their three-day tour match at Willowmoore Park, yesterday. At the close of the second day, South African Invitational, who scored 125 in their first innings, were 17 without loss.
“I basically paced myself… am confident” I have been batting very well and I used that momentum to bring me into this game,” said the stylish right-hander. “I am just enjoying batting at the moment and putting some good scores on the board and helping out my team as much as possible”.
Samuels added 360 for the third wicket with left-hander Devon Smith who was equally fluent in making a polished 174. This helped West Indies to a first innings lead of 383.
The Jamaican batsman has praised West Indies all-round cricket as encouraging ahead of the first test and also credits the bowlers for the Windies’ impressive showing including Sheldon Cottrell who grabbed five wickets in six overs.
“The positive thing about it is that Devon Smith made a hundred and seventy something retired as well and Sheldon Cottrell got five wickets and all the bowlers chipped in a bowled very well so the all-round cricket is looking very good at the moment going into the first test match”.
“I am really looking forward to the test match,” said Samuels. “Last time I was here I scored a lot of runs and I hope I can repeat that last trip to South Africa”.
Meanwhile, Smith said that Samuels inspired him to get his century and credited his recent good run of form to better application at the crease. “Marlon really inspires you and you can see that he is growing in confidence ahead of the Test series. I think I was in good touch in the first round of first class cricket back home and I had the most runs when I left home so I just wanted to continue from where I left off,” Smith said after his knock. “I think I am more selective in my shot selection and I am a lot more focused now,” he added.
Smith said he is looking forward to the Test series and “once I get a start, I just need to build on it and bat for as long as possible…I am looking forward to big things to come.”