West Indies captain Darren Sammy said Darren Bravo’s highly impressive performances were chief among a number of plus points his team could take from the drawn Test series against Sri Lanka.
The three-match series ended 0-0 on Sunday following rain-hit Tests in Galle, Colombo and Pallekele and they now head into the one-dayers.
“Bravo’s batting was one of the positives. He was in his debut Test series and scored a half-century every time he batted,” Sammy said after rain washed out play on the fifth day of the third and final Test.
“The bowling of Kemar Roach, the batting of Chris Gayle and the fighting spirit the team showed were the positives we can take from this series.”
Batsman Bravo, 21, was the find of the series as he impressed with his exciting stroke-play in all the matches, scoring 58 in the opening Test, 80 in the second and 68 in the third.
The series will not only be remembered for rain, but also for opener Gayle’s explosive 333 in the opening Test in Galle and Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara’s superb 150 on a new pitch in the second match in Colombo.
Gayle became the world’s fourth batsman to hammer two triple-centuries in Tests after Australian Don Bradman, India’s Virender Sehwag and West Indies’ Brian Lara.
Paceman Roach, who had played just seven Tests before the series, was the most impressive bowler as he finished with five wickets in the opening match and bagged 5-100 in the first innings of the second Test.
The West Indies, who arrived in the country with a new captain and an inexperienced bowling attack, dominated the opening Test and surprised the hosts when they enforced a follow-on, before the weather got involved.
“The weather is out of our control, but we had one Test match where we dominated,” said Sammy.
“We knew it would be a tough series, but I must commend the players that they made my job easier and supported me.”
The West Indies captain said his team were keen to put in an impressive performance in five one-day internationals, starting in Hambantota on Thursday.
“We are looking forward to the one-day series and it’s another opportunity for us to show what we are capable of doing,” said Sammy.
Sri Lanka came back strongly in the second Test, putting in a solid all-round performance before rain denied them a chance to press home the advantage.
Lakmal shows grace
The hosts gained a 144-run lead, but play on the last two days was severely affected by rain.
Sangakkara led from the front with a brilliant hundred under pressure. Sri Lanka were struggling at 34-3 before he came to his team’s rescue with a 170-run stand for the fourth wicket with Thilan Samaraweera (80).
Sri Lanka fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, who made his debut in the second Test and dismissed Gayle twice in the series, and spinners Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis also gave a good account of themselves.
“Lakmal’s bowling is a positive as he showed the ability in the two Test matches he played. Herath is an experienced bowler and did a fantastic job for us, while Mendis came back very strongly in this series,” said Sangakkara.
Mendis bagged 11 wickets in three Tests and Herath seven in two matches. — Sapa-AFP