BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Denesh Ramdin celebrated his 28th birthday with a disciplined batting performance, which has put the West Indies in the driver’s seat against Zimbabwe after two days of play in the first Test Match at Kensington Oval.

Denesh Ramdin playing in his 50th Test, made 62 off 130 balls.

The wicket-keeper batsman, playing in his 50th Test, made 62 off 130 balls – his ninth half-century at this level. The innings was made extra special as his wife Janelle watching from the stands.

Ramdin was watchful and helped skipper Darren Sammy add a record 106 for the seventh wicket, to rescue the home side after they slipped to 151-6 in pursuit of Zimbabwe’s first innings score of 211. Ramdin enjoys batting at Kensington Oval. He made both his highest Test score – 166 against England; and highest first-class score – 166 not out for Trinidad & Tobago against Barbados at the ground.

“I was focused on getting a score and batting the team out of trouble. Wickets fell rapidly yesterday [Tuesday] and we had a few fall early in the day so I knew I had to settle in and stay focused on batting to the end [of the innings],” Ramdin told WICB Media.

“It was good to celebrate my birthday with a good score to help rescue the team. It was also good to celebrate with my team-mates and special that my wife was here to see it as well.”

Ramdin added: “It was fantastic batting with Sammy and I was thrilled to watch the way he dominated the bowling. He took all the pressure off me and put all the pressure on the bowlers. He loves to go after the bowling and that meant there was less pressure on me. He is that kind of player, he can change the game in quick time and I was just happy to rotate the strike and run hard between the wickets. I was glad to stick out there with him and do my part at the other end.”

Ramdin has maintained the good form he showed in Test cricket last year where he made two Test centuries – 107 not out against England at Edgbaston and 126 not out against Bangladesh at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium.

“It is always a good opportunity to move up the order and look to get runs. I always want to go out and represent well. I had my eyes set on a bigger score, but I am satisfied with the position we are in as a team,” the Windies vice captain added.

“The intention is to go on and win the match. We will look to come tomorrow and apply more pressure with the ball. We will look to knock over Pricey [Raymond Price] and the captain [Brendan Taylor] early and look to make life hard for the others to come. They have some good players, but we are confident we can win from here.”