'Hungry for runs' - Windies top order Lewis looking for breakout year

By Sports Desk January 12, 2020
West Indies opener Evin Lewis. West Indies opener Evin Lewis.

Windies top-order batsman Evin Lewis has cautioned that he is hungry for runs after what was in many respects an underwhelming performance in 2019.

The 28-year-old batsman went the entire season without scoring a century after eight appearances, despite getting over the half-century mark on three occasions.  In fact, the last time Lewis did make it to triple figures was in 2017.  On Sunday, in the third and final ODI against Ireland, he ensured that the trend would not continue after scoring 102 in a comfortable win and series sweep over the tourist.  

The left-hander had come close to a ton once again but failed to convert to triple figures in the first ODI eventually being stuck on 99 not.  Now with 306 runs in three matches under his belt to start the season, which earned him man-of-the-series honours, Lewis is looking forward to a good year.

“I’ve been working hard in the nets with the batting coach.  I’ve been trying to open up a little more and hit the ball straight down the ground and it has been working so far,” Lewis said following the match.

“To be honest with you I have been hungry for runs.  My last ODI century was in 2017, so this year I’m very determined and I just want to make the best of it,” he added.

“Sometimes when I score 50 I get a little ultra-aggressive.  It was a great opportunity to put my head down and bat.  We weren’t behind in the game, we were in control most of the time.  Going forward I just want to continue batting like that.”

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    Jason Holder is eyeing a century after ticking off a five-wicket haul on English soil as West Indies piled pressure on England on day two of the opening Test.

    West Indies captain Holder led by example with the ball, claiming career-best figures of 6-42 to help the visitors bowl out England for 204 before tea in Southampton on Thursday.

    Shannon Gabriel weighed in with 4-62 but it was the Holder show at the Rose Bowl, where the Windies reached 57-1 at stumps – trailing England by 147 runs.

    Holder's figures were the best for a West Indies captain in England and he has now taken at least five wickets in an innings in six of his past 10 Tests.

    The Windies paceman revelled in his performance as he set his sights on another feat with the bat, saying: "My Test match is far from over.

    "I've still got a massive contribution to make with the bat, and that's where my focus is going to be channelled now in this innings.

    "One of the things I've always strived to do… was to score a hundred in England and to take a five-wicket haul here. I've ticked one box so far, so I guess it's now left for me to knuckle down and try to get a hundred."

    After dismissing Zak Crawley (10) and Ollie Pope (12) before lunch on the second day, Holder then claimed the prized scalp of captain Ben Stokes (43).

    Stokes and Jos Buttler (35) looked as though they might get on top of the Windies after England were reeling at 87-5, but Holder broke the threatening partnership in the middle session.

    "It was a big wicket to get," Holder said. "Stokesy was looking quite set. We put down two chances and he was looking to make us pay for them. When I came on, his partnership with Jos was starting to blossom, and it was important to break that partnership quickly and not let it materialise into something that could really hurt us.

    "I just wanted to be really consistent to him. He was pretty settled and countering the line that we were bowling by walking across and walking down. I was getting just enough movement there to keep him at bay, and I wanted to keep him playing."

    England will have their work cut out on day three as Kraigg Brathwaite (20 not out) and Shai Hope (3 not out) return to the crease, with John Campbell (28) the only wicket to fall prior to stumps.

    "They've done really well today and showed us the way to go," England paceman Mark Wood said. "We were in a similar position in the first innings and now we've got a chance to make it right like they did."

    Wood added: "We haven't had the best day so plenty to do. I'd prefer a few in the wickets column rather than the pace column.

    "They bowled well and got to give them credit, but 204 wasn't on the radar, we'd have liked 250 or 300. We didn't get it right with the ball, they got their line and length spot on. It's a bit of cobwebs and rust."

  • England undone by Holder heroics, Windies begin battle with the bat cautiously England undone by Holder heroics, Windies begin battle with the bat cautiously

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  • 'Shannon was outstanding' - Holder hails Windies 'weapon' Gabriel 'Shannon was outstanding' - Holder hails Windies 'weapon' Gabriel

    West Indies captain Jason Holder has hailed the outstanding efforts of returning pace bowler Shannon Gabriel, who formed the perfect partner in excoriating the England batting line-up, in the first Test at the Rose Bowl, on Thursday.

    Holder claimed an impressive 6 for 42 and Gabriel 4 for 62, as England were dismissed for 204, in the first innings.  Gabriel’s performance is all the more impressive with the series being the player’s first competitive match since recovering from ankle surgery last year.

    In truth, concerns regarding Gabriel’s overall match fitness had quickly evaporated when he removed England opener Dom Sibley and provided plenty of deliveries that teased the edge of the batsmen in the first session.  He went on to account for, Rory Burns, Sibley's opening partner, Joe Denly, and James Anderson at the bottom of the order.

    “Shannon was outstanding.  He came in after not playing cricket for a while, coming back off injury.  He is one of those players we try to manage as best as we possibly can,” Holder said following the end of the day’s play.

    “He is a strike force for us, he is a weapon.  I think we were able to use him in short bursts where he can run in and express himself.  To me his consistency was good, and he looked good.”

    In reply, the West Indies were 57 for 1 at the end of play, with John Campbell the batsman dismissed, on 28, by Anderson.

     

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