'It's a tricky pitch and it bodes well for us," says Windies batsman after the third day's play.
Having extended their lead over Sri Lanka to 360 by the end of the third day of the first Test, the Windies plan was stamp their authority and get the opposition tired, Kieran Powell has said.
Powell led the charge in the hosts’ second innings at Port of Spain, adding an entertaining 64* off 80 in an effort that included six fours and two sixes.
That took the Windies to 131/4 at the end of day three on Friday, 8 June, to go with their first-innings 414/8 declared. And with Sri Lanka bundled out for 185, Jason Holder’s side were in a commanding position.
#WIvSL: Kieran Powell followed up destructive fast bowling with a breezy, unbeaten half-century to extend the lead of the WINDIES over Sri Lanka to 360 in the first Test in T&T. pic.twitter.com/LbFPpsH2yd— CricketWestIndies (@westindies) June 8, 2018
They decided not to enforce the follow-on, and Powell explained that was a plan to get the Sri Lankans tired and make them bat on a pitch that is getting trickier for batting.
"The team was in a good position already since we had a 200-run (229) lead," he told Cricket West Indies. "We had a relatively good start, but it was my job to try and stamp the authority in the innings to ensure we have a good lead.
“Most importantly, the plan was to keep Sri Lanka on the field and get them tired.
#WIvSL: @westindies build a commanding lead on day three of the first Test against @OfficialSLC 💪— ICC (@ICC) June 8, 2018
REPORT ➡️ https://t.co/E0j4Tgl3Lz pic.twitter.com/WxCo2fuySZ
Early on in the match, the seamers enjoyed the conditions, but with the surface showing wear and tear, batting fourth will be especially tricky.
"On the first day, the surface was a bit tacky, it was a bit more moist," Powell said. "Now, it's keeping a bit low so you have to play straight and watch the ball very long. Obviously a few guys got a few balls that rolled, few bounced, so it's a tricky pitch and it bodes well for us.
"We're in a good position, 360 ahead, so it's just a matter of taking time out of the game. Once we bat time, we will score runs.
“The plan is to bat till lunch and take it from there, put ourselves in a position from where we can't lose the game. And (then get) Sri Lankans to run around in the sun."