Out of the 34 Test matches that he has played for the West Indies so far, the latest one would be the most fulfilling for 30-year old right-hand fast bowler Shannon Gabriel. Having made his Test debut against England at Lord’s in 2012, it is only after six years that he has made a significant reputation at the global stage.
During the second Test of the ongoing Sri Lanka’s tour of West Indies at St Lucia, Gabriel registered five-wicket hauls in both innings of the Test match. In a ‘Man of the Match’ performance, Gabriel was seen registering bowling figures of 13-121, the third-best match haul ever by a Windies bowler. In the second innings, he registered his career-best innings figures of 8-62.
All the above mentioned numbers have helped Gabriel in jumping 11 places in the ICC Test Player Rankings. Not at the 12th position of the rankings, Gabriel has reached 754 rating points while his previous best was 636 points and an 18th place in August last year. Gabriel’s team-mates Roston Chase (up one place to 38th) and captain Jason Holder (up one place to 64th) were the others to gain in the latest update.
“It’s a great feeling,” he said afterwards of reaching the milestone. “If someone told me, ‘Shannon, you’ll play Tests and take 100 wickets’, I would’ve told him, ‘you’re crazy!’ I’d like to thank family and friends for supporting me.
“I was prepared well for this series, getting myself fit. As long as you get wickets, pains and aches go away. I was supported well by Kemar (Roach), he was unlucky. Miguel Cummins kept coming at the batsmen. (Jason) Holder was also very good. Anything other than a loss is good. We can take plenty of positives from this Test.”
“Getting wickets off no-balls is a concern, something we need to pay attention to.We were better overall, were a lot more behind the line. But it hasn’t gone unnoticed,” said Jason Holder, the Windies captain.
“We played reasonable cricket, probably not at our best,” he said. “We weren’t as consistent and disciplined as we should have been. They played well. All in all, a decent effort, I thought we were more clinical in Trinidad.”
The third and final Test of the series will start from Saturday at Bridgetown.