Samuels spurred on by Stokes battle


Published: Tuesday 21st April 2015 by The News Editor

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West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels claimed “the English boys don’t learn” after a verbal battle with Ben Stokes inspired him to an unbeaten 94 on day one of the second Test.

Samuels and Stokes shared a few choice words in the middle as the hosts compiled 188 for five in Grenada.

Stokes is a notoriously combustible character, while Samuels is never short of a riposte when confronted at the crease.

He made a memorable century against England at Trent Bridge in 2012, during which he claimed a bout of sparring with James Anderson spurred him on.

And as he closes in on his seventh Test hundred, he had Stokes in his sights.

“Ben Stokes basically is battling himself because he’s just coming into cricket and I’ve been around for a while,” he said.

“It’s obvious the English boys don’t learn because whenever they talk to me I continue scoring runs. But they keep on talking, I guess they can’t help it.

“It all depends on how tomorrow goes…Marlon Samuels 150, Ben Stokes with the ball in his hand. It will be very interesting.

“I kept on telling him but tomorrow I probably have to tell him something different because he’s not listening.

“He keeps talking to me but it keeps me motivated and keeps me batting.”

Chris Jordan, who took the wickets of Devon Smith and Jermaine Blackwood on a tough pitch for seam bowling, was happy to see Stokes and Samuels facing off.

“Stokesy likes to get in a battle and what you saw was two cricketers going at it for their country, I guess that makes for good viewing,” he said.

“That kind of stuff makes Stokesy tick. Any time he’s in a battle all 11 of us are going to back him.

“It’s good to see two cricketers going at it without crossing the line.

“Hopefully see much more of that tomorrow.”

England kept the run rate well down with some restrictive bowling in the afternoon session, though they might have been expecting more than a mere containment job having chosen to bowl in humid conditions.

At least three of their five breakthroughs came from batsman error and, although Jordan believes there was enough in the wicket to justify bowling first, he conceded the execution was not always perfect.

“I thought the ball swung the entire day, from ball one to the last ball the seamers bowled. There was enough to keep us interested,” he said.

“We were good in patches but all in all I didn’t think we made the batsman play at enough balls to create pressure.

“It was a reasonable day all in all. I’d like to say we’re slightly on top but the morning session will be an important one.”

Published: Tuesday 21st April 2015 by The News Editor

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