A superb batting performance from Kevin Sinclair propelled West Indies “A” to a thrilling one-wicket victory, in the opening four-day “Test” on Friday. In pursuit of 224 after resuming the final morning at Willowmoore Park on eight without loss, West Indies were in trouble at 119-7 just before tea.
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The 24-year-old Sinclair entered at Number 7 to transform the run chase and made a superb unbeaten 80 to put the visitors over the line. Displaying excellent temperament, he calmly put on 29 for the eighth wicket with Jayden Seales (12), 23 for the ninth with Shermon Lewis (2) before inspiring a magnificent 53-run, unbroken last wicket stand with Jair McAllister who spent 34 balls over a crucial seven not out.
“Lots of credit to the lower order batsmen who stayed with me and helped us over the line… especially McAllister, he had so much belief he kept going an going and kept talking saying ‘we can do this,” Sinclair said.
“I am an opening batsman by upbringing so I believe in my batting ability and I knew I could win the match for the team. This is a good win to start the series, so we will look to build on this and look to reap more success in the upcoming matches.”
Sinclair, a compact right-hander with a first-class average of 32, faced 150 balls in just over three hours at the crease and struck eight fours and three sixes. A leg bye off the third delivery of the first over with the second new ball from pacer Tshepo Moreki (3-56) added to the drama, as it left McAllister with three balls to face at 222 for nine. However, the 27-year-old sliced the next delivery to cover and sprinted a couple, to spark celebrations in the West Indies dressing room.
The two teams will now travel to East London, where the second “Test” bowls off next Tuesday at Buffalo Park. First ball daily is 10am local (4am Eastern Caribbean/3am Jamaica).