Roach happy as he gets “reward” for hard work

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — The pitch at Queen’s Park Oval might not be tailor-made for fast bowlers, but Kemar Roach proved that if you give your all you will reap rewards. 

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The 23-year-old fast bowler got the third five-wicket haul of his Test match career to help the Windies bowl out Australia for 311 in the first innings of the second Digicel Test match.

The home team then lost early wickets and ended the day on 49-3, with some work to do when play resumes on the third day.

Roach was accurate and penetrative and ended with five wickets for 105 off 27 overs. He was well supported by off-spinner Shane Shillingford, who had the excellent figures of 49-17-92-3 on his return to the Test match stage.

Narsingh Deonarine, the other off-break bowler, chipped in with 2-32 of 20 overs, including the key wicket of Mike Hussey for the topscore of 73.

"People might look at the pitch and say it’s not quite suited to my style of bowling, but my style of bowling is to be straight and ask questions of the batsmen," said Roach. "I have been working very hard in the nets and I am happy I got some reward.

"I’m glad with the way I performed, and when I get the chance to bowl again I will be looking to do the same things and get more wickets. The ball did quite a bit…it reversed a bit and I knew I had to be accurate and challenge the batsmen’s techniques."

On Sunday, Roach took his 50th Test wicket when he had Ricky Ponting caught at slip by West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

Roach said it was a "good wicket to get", but he was not focussed only on the veteran batsman.

"It was a good wicket to get at a crucial time for us," he said. "As everyone knows he is a legend of the game and a very good player, so when we got him at that stage we were obviously delighted.

"But I was not focussing only on Ponting. I will keep ‘coming’ at him as that is my job in the team to run in and get wickets. It’s a challenge and I enjoy the challenge at this level."

Roach said it was good bowling in tandem with Shillingford, who kept the Australians in check and made run-scoring very difficult.

"He (Shillingford) did a really great job for us (Sunday) and again (Monday)," he said. "Shane kept the pressure on from one end and I was able to run in at the other end.

"He bowled some really good stuff and troubled all the batsmen. He helped to build the pressure and that allowed me to do my bit at the other end. I was able to get five wickets and it was also good to see that Shilly picked up three."