On Sunday at Kensington Oval, local boy Roston Chase made his fourth score of over fifty in Test cricket, in his ninth match. Three of these four knocks have come after his team was four down for less than 70, including a match-saving 137 against India in Jamaica last August. The fourth, an unbeaten 131, has helped West Indies recover from 37 for 3, taking them within sight of 300 by stumps on day one of the second Test against Pakistan. No wonder then that Chase is nicknamed “Crisis Man”.
“There’s a little joke in the dressing room, among the Barbados guys, that if it was a superhero movie, my superhero name would be Crisis Man,” Chase said with a laugh after the day’s play. “I relish these situations where we are on the back foot, under pressure. I just like to dig my team out of a hole all the time.”
An added incentive to perform, Chase said, was the presence of his family at the match. “My parents always pushed me in the direction of cricket, because that was my first love. They always backed me 100%, gave me that encouragement to just go out there and play my cricket and do the best that I can. Also my brother is a big mentor for me, so I felt good about doing it in front of him today.”
On getting to that hundred against India last year, Chase had crossed his arms to form an “X”. On Sunday, he brought out the same celebration, which he said was a reminder to him of his beginnings.
“Before this Test match, my brother told me he wanted the X celebration I did for my first hundred in Jamaica,” Chase said. “That’s something I’ve started doing since I came back from England in 2015. Here in Barbados, the X is a symbol for Christ Church. That’s where we’re from, so it’s something to remind me of where I’m from and to just keep me going.”
West Indies finished the day on 286 for 6, and Chase said they would want a minimum of 350 from here, especially as he expected the pitch to deteriorate quite a bit going forward.
“It [the pitch] is very dry, so as it goes on, I think the spinners may come into play a bit more,” he said. “It’s only day one, there are a lot of foot marks out there already. So I think the spinners can play a big role in the latter stages of the game. We’re not looking to get less than 350; 350 and above is great for us.”