More work needed

West Indies wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva said the players gave it their all but a bit more application will be needed from the batsmen in the second Test after they lost the opening match against Sri Lanka by 187 runs in Galle, yesterday.

Da Silva made a fighting 54 off 129 deliveries and shared a century stand with Nkrumah Bonner, who scored 68 not out off 220 balls, to prop up the West Indies second innings on the final day, but Sri Lanka were simply better in their home conditions.

The 23-year-old Da Silva, playing in his tenth Test, said the home team didn’t do anything unexpected.

“They just played the cricket they know how to play. They used the spinners wisely and they batted well in their conditions which they know how to do. They just used the home advantage to their advantage,” Da Silva said yesterday.

“I just think we need to fight and believe in ourselves. Nobody goes out there to fail. Everybody is trying their best. We just needed a bit of application and give yourself some more time. You have a lot more time than you think. You have five days, so just a bit of application is going to do the job,” he added.

Reflecting on the 100-run partnership with Bonner, Da Silva said the pair was just trying to rebuild the innings after the Windies had slid to 18 for six early in their second innings.

“When I got into the wicket with Bonner, we had to rebuild and had to think about how we were going to get ourselves out of this collapse, so we just wanted to bat balls and wanted to be there at the end of the day because we knew we once we did that, it would be another step to draw the game or even win the game,” said Da Silva.

“It was challenging. The pitch was turning a lot and the straighter ball was sliding on a bit, so it was a difficult new ball wicket, but once the ball got a bit softer, it got a bit easier and we were able to get a bit more on top of the bowlers,” he continued.

Meanwhile, West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite was pleased with the effort shown by Bonner and Da Silva.

“I thought today, Joshua and Bonner, the fight they showed – even from yesterday evening being [18 for six] – I think that was commendable for us and I think as batsmen we just have to learn from it,” the West Indies skipper said in the post-match presentation ceremony yesterday.

Brathwaite added: “I believe the first innings total is always important and if you don’t do well there, you’re going to be under pressure and that’s where we fell down. Obviously for Sri Lanka the skipper played well in the first innings and it was important we got close to their score or even past, and obviously we let ourselves down there.

“I think we saw how their spinners bowled on the pitch and we’ve got to have clarity and back our plans on the pitch. We saw how Josh and Bonner went today and it wasn’t from just big shots. It was from defence, so if you are defending you must defend confidently. We must have learned from two of those guys today especially,” the Windies skipper added.

Asked about losing the toss, Brathwaite said it was crucial but regardless of the result, “it is cricket you are playing, so whatever challenges you get you’ve got to be able to overcome.”

“I must commend the bowlers. All the fast bowlers put in a big effort. Shannon Gabriel getting two wickets and we asked for some aggression and he showed it. The spinners, Roston Chase getting five wickets, but obviously Sri Lanka batted well. I thought we were decent but we let ourselves down with the bat in the first innings,” Brathwaite stressed.

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