Ambrose backs Samuels

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Published: Friday 24th April 2015 by The News Editor

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West Indies great Curtly Ambrose wants Marlon Samuels to keep having fun at England’s expense, after the Jamaican cheekily saluted Ben Stokes on day three of the second Test.

Samuels and Stokes have engaged in a fierce running battle in Grenada, twice alerting umpires with their verbal barrages in the middle.

Joe Root’s stylish century may have given England the lead in the game, finishing 74 runs ahead on 373 for six, but Samuels landed a late blow in his row with Stokes.

After the Durham all-rounder holed out for eight, he passed Samuels, who clutched his hat to his chest and raised a hand to his temple.

Stokes was decidedly unamused, but Windies bowling coach Ambrose was behind his man.

“There’s nothing wrong with a little bantering. This is international cricket. As long as it doesn’t go over the top, I’m fine with it,” he said.

“I think it’s more friendly than anything else. He gave a salute, is that a sign of respect? I don’t know but I’m hoping so.

“That’s something that we don’t really preach. We always make sure that we tell the guys to keep it clean, and keep it within a certain range, and don’t go over the top.

“International cricket is hard, and they must find ways to relax themselves, and smiling is one of those things. As much as we’re working hard and want to win, you must have some fun doing it. You’ve got to enjoy what you are doing.”

England enjoyed a profitable day in the middle, using the best batting conditions of the match to score 299 runs in 98 overs.

Alastair Cook (76) and Jonathan Trott (59) laid a hard-working foundation, posting 125 as England’s first wicket pair passed three figures for the first time in over two years.

Gary Ballance also chipped in with a rock solid 77 but the star attraction was Root, who finished unbeaten on 118 having timed the ball to near perfection on a slow outfield.

Trott was pleased with how the tourists set up the game, and hailed Root’s apparently effortless hundred.

“Almost 300 runs in the day is a pretty good effort and Joe’s gone on and got a big hundred to put us in a really good position,” he said.

“He was probably a bit frustrated watching Alastair and I cloth it everywhere and not hit boundaries. He came in and showed the guys how.

“I don’t think cricket is ever easy but he certainly makes it look relatively easy. He’s mature beyond his years and a fine player to have in the dressing room.”

Trott answered some of the criticisms levelled at him after he struggled on his Test comeback in Antigua, but was still after more.

“Alastair and I were really pleased to put on a good start but I’m sure both of us are disappointed we couldn’t go on and make a bigger score,” he said.

“You don’t spend all those hours in the nets to get fifties, you go there to get match defining hundreds.

“But we get on pretty well, we’ve got a goods understanding in the middle and it was nice to get back in the groove.”

Published: Friday 24th April 2015 by The News Editor

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