KHULNA, Bangladesh – Marlon Samuels said he had mixed emotions about scoring his maiden Test double hundred on Friday here.
The West Indies batting stylist made his highest Test and first-class score of 260, as the West Indies’ batsmen indulged in a run feast to reach 564 for four against Bangladesh at the close on the third day of the second and final Test of the series at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium.
Samuels’ innings helped the Windies pile up a first-innings lead so far of 177 over the Bangladeshis, enhancing their bid for a rare fourth straight Test victory and clean sweep of the series.
“I’m definitely very disappointed that I did not pass 300, but a double-century is a double-century, and it’s a big milestone, so I guess I will have to allow it to sink in and enjoy the achievement,” he told reporters following the day’s play.
“To be honest, if I did not get out, I would have been waiting for the spinners to come back on to bowl. The ball was still new and it’s still a slow surface, and I would have been hitting sixes for the rest of the evening.
“I said before the series I wanted to score a few more international hundreds this year and so this would count as two in my mind, but I am looking forward to the One-day Internationals to follow, and I’m sure everyone will enjoy watching.”
Samuels reached the double-hundred mark from 329 balls when he flicked a delivery from Rubel Hossain to deep mid-wicket for a single, becoming the 25th player from the Caribbean to score a Test double hundred.
He said there was no well-kept secret to the rich vein of form that has accompanied him this year, yielding 866 runs at an average of 86.60 in seven Tests.
“My motivation is my family, my children, and being able to value life more,” he said. “I have continued to work hard and my work ethic is different, I’m eating right, staying fit and so all of this hard work is bearing fruit for me right now,” he said.
“After batting for so long, my body is still feeling good. All the work that I have put in to preparation, being on the field, batting, bowling and fielding, for hours is not a challenge for my body.”
Samuels struck 31 fours and three sixes from 455 balls in 618 minutes at the crease and was satisfied with the tempo of his innings.
“The way Bangladesh have played the game, it’s a slow pitch and they have placed a number of fielders on the boundary and they were tempting me to score over the top consistently,” he said.
“When I slowed down, I was just playing smart cricket because there were a number of singles that were there to be taken and I didn’t mind doing this until the fielders came closer and gave me the chance to score over the top.
“On these types of pitches, it calls for plenty of patience because you can’t just go out there and drive through the line, so you have to enjoy taking singles until the boundaries come, so you have to wait on the bad balls and try to rotate the strike as much as possible.”
Samuels said West Indies would be looking for a sizeable lead that would allow them to bat just once in the match and put Bangladesh under some pressure to save the game over the last two days.
“The pitch is wearing now, so there is still something there for the bowlers,” he said. “Look at the delivery that got me out and there were a few others in between.
“When you bowl the ‘effort ball’, you can get something out of the pitch. The ball is stopping and it is difficult to play your strokes, so it won’t be easy to score runs.”