"--IANS/CMC"
Kingston (Jamaica), June 12 (IANS/CMC) West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford says batting practice in the nets paid off, resulting in him scoring the second fastest Test fifty.

Shillingford struck an unbeaten 53 off a mere 25 balls as West Indies attempted to chase down a mammoth 403 for victory in the opening Test against New Zealand.

West Indies lost the match by 186 runs inside four days as the Kiwis took a one-nil lead in the three-Test series, with the second set to begin in Trinidad Monday.

A lot of coaches, in terms of different teams, see me bat and always tell me I will get runs. Even the Windward coach tells me that, said Shillingford who played his first Test since his suspension due to an illegal bowling action.

So, I am doing some work in the nets along with the assistant coach and staff on batting, and I'm glad it paid off today.

The Dominican cricketer finished with a match haul of five for 184 and teamed up with Sulieman Benn in an 85-run last wicket partnership which threatened to take the match into the fifth day.

Shillingford struck three fours and five sixes in an impressive showing with the bat.

Growing up, I never used to be a bowler. I used to be a No. 3 batsman, playing under-19s, under-13s, Shillingford said.

The technique and all is still there, the way I like to strike the ball. My strength is to hit the ball straight.

--IANS/CMC

vs/rr


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