St John’s, Antigua – Rahkeem Cornwall made his maiden Test match half-century and added a vital partnership with Joshua Da Silva which lifted the West Indies to a 99-run lead over Sri Lanka on the second day of the first Sandals Test match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Monday.
Cornwall reached 60 not out at the close while wicket-keeper Da Silva made 46 as they added a record eighth-wicket stand of 90 which pulled the innings around to 268-8, in reply to Sri Lanka’s 169.
Cornwall has so far hit two sixes and nine fours. He is the first time an Antiguan to score a Test half-century at this venue, he now has the highest score by a Number 9 batsman at the ground, and the highest score by a West Indies Number 9 against Sri Lanka.
Speaking on the Sandals Player Zone after the day’s play, Cornwall was pleased with his effort and the team’s overall position going into the third day.
“I told myself I had to do the job for the team. I was always confident I knew I was hitting the ball very well coming into the match, so I just had to settle in and support ‘Josh’ at the other end. I know I have good bating skills, so I wanted to show what I’m capable of,” he said.
“Tomorrow the first hour will be crucial. They will come back fresh and will look to knock us over, so we have to be mindful of that and look to play well and gather as many runs as we can. We negotiated the new ball well … it either takes wickets or runs come. When I reached 50 it felt really good. My family and friends aren’t here to see me play but I know everyone is cheering me on at home and supporting the team.”
Earlier, West Indies had a 56-run second wicket partnership between John Campbell (42) and Nkrumah Bonner (31) while left-hander Kyle Mayers made 45, which included six fours and two sixes. Sri Lanka pacer Suranga Lakmal took 5-45, his fourth five-wicket, which saw the score slip to 171-7 before Cornwall and Da Silva repaired the damage.
Highlights available here https://bit.ly/2LQTuxt to Caribbean viewers on West Indies YouTube channel from tomorrow at 4pm Eastern Caribbean Time/3pm Jamaica Time.