Chase wants West Indies batsmen to mirror England’s grit

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By Akeem Greene

All-rounder Roston Chase hopes his fellow batsmen can grind out innings of great character as West Indies take on England’s total of 469 in the ongoing second Test at Old Trafford.

Opener Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes took England from 81-3 to 341-4; they were at the crease for a large portion of the two days, racking up England’s second longest partnership – 568 balls – since 2000.

Sibley, in particular, was a force of attrition and concentration as he scored the fifth slowest Test ton in terms of balls faced -312 – in England. In his score of 120, he struck just five boundaries.

West Indies have already lost one wicket and trail by 437 runs. It means their batting, which is undeniably the weaker link, has to come good.

“The approach is to play each ball on its merit, just take a page out of the English players book, especially Sibley and how patient he was and just waited for the bowlers to come into his areas and score,” Chase stated at the post-play briefing.

“It is just for us to take that leaf from their book and play each ball on it is merit. Run hard between the wickets; I thought that they ran every well between the wickets so that is something we can take from them as well and just stay patient.”

Despite England’s significant total, it could have been worse had it not been for disciplined bowling to keep the run rate down. The flamboyance of Stokes was kept in check as he took 255 balls to reach his century, but just 46 more to reach 150.

Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley of England walk out to bat after lunch during Day Two of the 2nd Test Match in the #RaiseTheBat Series between England and The West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford on July 17, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

“Being out there for 160 overs usually teams would be showing a lot of signs of tiredness and waywardness in lines and length, but I thought that all the English batters batted very long we didn’t really let the game get away from us. Our bowlers were still discipline and we still kept the run rate to under three and that was our aim from the beginning.”

He added, “We made a few blunders; (it) is going to happen when you are out there for those long hours. Your body is under tremendous aches and pains, but I still thought it was a good effort from the guys seeing that we didn’t get wickets in clusters as we did in the first game but we stuck to the game plan.”

Chase took 5-142, his second five-wicket haul against England in five Tests, and according to him, the 44 overs delivered were due to the conditions on offer and the lack of assistance for the faster men.

“I thought that the pitch offered a bit of spin. It was a bit slow for the fast bowlers so there were not getting much of the wicket and that’s why I came into the attack early. I came to do the job that was asked of me and it worked out well.”

He further defended Jason Holder’s decision to field, noting the prevailing conditions on the first day influenced such and the entire team was in support of the decision.

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