Shillingford first Dominican likely to play a Test at home
Roseau (Dominica), April 23 (IANS/CMC) Shane Shillingford will become the first Dominican cricketer to play a Test match on home soil if he takes the field for West Indies against Australia in the third and final cricket Test here Monday.
The tall off-spinner bowled well against the Australians on his comeback to international cricket in the second Digicel Test in Trinidad last week and is expected to retain his place in the team for the all-important third and final match at Windsor Park here.
The picturesque ground hosted its first One-Day International back in 2009 and Test cricket came to the island for the first time last year.
Shillingford missed the hard-fought drawn Test against India last year, but he is now eager to take the field and perform in front his family, friends and countrymen.
Shillingford is only the fifth Dominican to play Test cricket for the West Indies. The others were the late Grayson Shillingford, Irving Shillingford, Norbert Phillip and Adam Stanford. One other player born in Dominica, Philip DeFreitas, also played Test cricket, but he turned out for England. (The three Shillingfords are related.)
"I'm looking forward to playing at home, being the first one to play a Test from Dominica in Dominica. It's a very special feeling, I'm pretty much looking forward to that. I know the Dominican people will be coming out in big numbers to give their support," Shillingford said.
"I'm confident coming on from the game in Trinidad, even more so knowing my family, my fans are coming out to support. So, I really want to do well and hope we come out with a victory to level the series.
Shillingford toiled hard on the Queen's Park Oval pitch and came off with some reward in the drawn Test as rain dashed hopes of an outright result. He had the impressive figures of 49-17-92-3 in the first innings and took the new ball in the second innings for returns of 23.5-4-55-1.
Shillingford, who made his Test debut back in 2010 against South Africa at the Queen's Park Oval, said he much enjoyed bowling in the second Test, but expects the pitch "at home" to be somewhat different.
"Most of the time I try to bowl to build pressure. In the second innings in Trinidad I was happy to use the new ball and try my variations," the 29-year-old said.
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