Opening Test win against Pakistan yet to sink in: West Indies bowler Roach

8/20/2021
West Indies bowler Kemar Roach said ahead of the second Test against Pakistan at Sabina Park here beginning later on Friday that the feeling that he had guided the home team to victory in the opening Test at the same venue by just one wicket was yet to sink in despite the historic moment coming last Sunday (August 15).

Roach made an unbeaten 30 as he guided West Indies to a sensational one-wicket victory over Pakistan. The right-hander hit the winning run as the home side took a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series. Roach shared a last-wicket stand of 17 with last man Jayden Seales, who made two not out, but was crucial in defending against the Pakistan bowling attack. In the process Roach reached 1,000 Test runs. He joined an elite club of West Indies players to make 1,000 runs and take over 200 wickets.

"It was the most significant (victory) of my 66-Test career. It was a big victory. I think it's the biggest victory for me in Test cricket," said Roach late on Thursday.

"The way we fought or had to fight to get this win was really strong stuff. It was good to see the guys sticking together obviously. The support on the balcony while I was batting was amazing and then the communication in the middle was simple. I think that's what helped us to execute as well as we did. It's a good win; it's gone down in history. Now it's on to the next one."

Roach was at the crease for a shade over one-and-a-half hours for an unbeaten 30 that guided West Indies to their target of 168. In the process he became just the fourth West Indian to make 1,000 Test runs ad take over 200 wickets. The others are Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Curtly Ambrose and Malcolm Marshall.

At one stage West Indies found themselves wobbling on 16/3 in the eighth over of the run chase. Later on, Roach put on 28 for the eighth wicket with Joshua Da Silva (13) before defying Pakistan in crucial stands with Jomel Warrican and last man Jayden Seales.

"Honestly, after tea when me and Joshua started, the way we were ticking if off slowly, there was a lot of self-belief," Roach said.

"I've never been in a situation like that batting with the tail and being the leader so it was communication and we just kept it simple -- defend your wicket and look to do it in singles. If we get the odd boundary here and there fine, but we just wanted to tick it off ten runs at a time. We knew once we got close to the score, Pakistan were going to panic and that's when the runs were going to come."

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