LINCOLN, New Zealand, CMC – Sunil Ambris has described Saturday’s hundred against New Zealand A as one of his best, and said conditions here were conducive to his type of stroke-play.
The 24-year-old, on his first Test tour with West Indies, smashed an amazing 153 off 145 balls as West Indies piled up 451 for nine on the opening day of the three-day tour match at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval.
Shai Hope, with whom he shared a 155-run, sixth wicket stand, stroked 110.
“It was one of my better knocks for a while now. When I just got in I had to graft, had to bat as much balls as possible, had to leave a lot – not really trying to score but I had to play myself in,” Ambris said afterwards.
“It was made a lot easier batting with Shai. He was scoring quickly and it took a lot of pressure off me. When I got into my own, I was able to score freely [and] capitalise on the bad deliveries.”
He added: “[The pitches here] are a lot different. In the Caribbean you have to work a lot harder, the wicket turns a lot – it does a lot. Here in New Zealand I’ve found there is a lot of value for your runs.
“The outfield is very quick. There is not much in the wicket once you play yourself in. You can play your shots but again you have to work hard to get yourself in.”
Ambris was one of the bright spots for the Windies after they had slumped to 45 for three in the morning session.
He struck 24 fours and a six, adding a further 89 for the seventh wicket with Shane Dowrich (35) and 53 for the eighth with captain Jason Holder (31).
Unbeaten on 51 at tea with West Indies well poised on 247 for five, Ambris ripped into the hosts’ bowling in the final session to add 102 more runs in an exhilarating display.
“I was just trying to bat as long as possible while being positive but it was one of my better innings for a long while,” said the Vincentian, who also lashed two hundreds against Sri Lanka A last month.
Ambris’s form of recent has been hard to ignore. He smashed over 600 runs in the 2016-17 first class season, rattled up over 400 runs in the Regional Super50 earlier this year.
He recently emerged as the leading Windies A batsman against the Sri Lankans with an average of 55, and said the key to his heavy scoring was long hours in the nets.
“The only thing I’ve changed over the last year or so is that I have been batting a lot of balls,” he explained.
“I’ve been batting balls every chance I get. Doesn’t matter where or against who, I’ve been batting and taking it very serious. I’ve just been batting. Repetition is key especially in batting.”
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