West Indies pace ace Fidel Edwards, who produced some quality fast bowling without much reward as England piled up a mammoth first innings total of 600 for six declared in the 4th Digicel Test, is backing his batsmen to make use of good batting conditions and match the tourists’ batting display.
“The wicket is pretty flat. It’s a good batting wicket,” the 27-year-old said after day two of the match. “Hopefully, we can go on from here and get a big total on the board as well.”
The West Indies ended day two on 85 for one, still 515 runs in arrears.
“I really thought the pitch would have been a lot faster on the first two days. But it didn’t play that way so hopefully we can tough it out and go onto Trinidad from here (still 1-0 up in the series),” he added. “Hopefully the pitch doesn’t deteriorate or get any worse. It usually is a good batting wicket.”
Edwards, who took three for 151, produced a fiery performance during England’s long innings and his thrilling battle with England’s Ravi Bopara, who hit a character-building century, was a highlight of Friday’s play.
The Barbadian pacer should have claimed the Essex batsman when he was just four but Jerome Taylor spilled a catch at deep square leg.
Edwards also left Bopara with a nasty bruise under his right eye after he missed a hook and was caught on the grille of the helmet.
“With the whole adrenalin and everything, you don’t really feel it until after,” Bopara said. “So I reckon about 8 o’clock this evening, I’ll be feeling it.”
But Bopara overcame that early uncertainty and completed his maiden hundred in his fourth test.
“He did come back at me, getting me on the grille. But it sort of fired me up. I thought, well, that’s his weapon, his bouncer’s his weapon and if I attack his weapon, he’s not got much else,” Bopara said.
The West Indies batsmen will have to produce that sort of spirited display to fend off England over the next three days.