Samuels’ superb century keeps West Indies hopes alive in second Test

Kingston : Marlon Samuels displayed a batting master class at Sabina Park as he made a superb fourth Test century to keep the West Indies team in the match on the second day of the second Test on Friday.

The elegant Jamaican played a number of breathtaking shots as he made a commanding 123 off 169 balls.

The West Indies, looking to win their series 2-0, posted a first-innings deficit after the second day of their second Test against New Zealand, after being bowled out for 209.

The home side hit back in the final half-hour with two wickets from Narsingh Deonarine. The Black Caps will resume on 59-2 – an overall lead of 110 going into the third day on Saturday.

The 31-year-old stroked 15 fours and four sixes – three in one over – including a gem over extra-cover to reach triple figures. It was his highest Test score, surpassing the 117 he made against England at Trent Bridge in May. The century was his first on home soil at Sabina Park and first in the Caribbean.

Samuels dedicated his century to the people of Jamaica. The island nation will celebrate its 50th anniversary of Independence on Monday, August 6.

“This was for Jamaica. This was for the people of my country as we celebrate Jamaica 50. It is a special time for Jamaica so I came out and put in my piece to celebrate. It was good to be in front of my people doing well again,” Samuels said after the day’s play.

“I was 98 and I eased to my century with a six over cover and that made me quite happy. It’s one area where I score frequently so I backed myself to go in that direction once I got a ball to hit. I was batting with the last man and I got it in my area so I just hit through the line.”

Assessing his innings, Samuels said: “It was not the easiest of pitches to bat on. The ball was doing something here and there and you had to be constantly watchful and patient. I had to really apply myself. There was inconsistent bounce, a few kept low, then you would get one that ‘shifted’ and one that would bounce.