GALLE, Sri Lanka (CMC):West Indies captain, Jason Holder, has blamed sloppy fielding by his side for their innings defeat to Sri Lanka in their first cricket Test, which ended at the Galle International Stadium here yesterday.Holder’s men crashed to an innings and six-run defeat to Sri Lanka in the second session of the fourth day of the Test match.The West Indies effort was marred by several sloppy misfields, two missed run-out attempts and five shelled catches, including a sixth that was not attempted.”We created chances with the ball, but we just didn’t take them when we came,” lamented Holder.”If we had, their first innings total would have looked a lot different. If we had new batsmen in at crucial stages when our fast bowlers were fresh, we would have had a chance to have a good burst at them.”Jermaine Blackwood, in a gallant attempt to avert an innings defeat, fell eight runs shy of a century as West Indies were bowled out for 227 in their second innings.Apart from Blackwood the only other West Indian batsman to score a half-century in the match was Darren Bravo with an even 50 in the first innings.Several frontline batsmen again failed to capitalise on starts as the left arm spinner, Rangana Herath, took four second-innings wickets to finish the match with his fifth 10-wicket haul in Tests.”It’s important that we put up a first innings total that’s respectable,” said Holder, who played his first match as Test captain, in just his ninth Test overall.”We only scored 250-odd in the first innings and it set us back. We were pretty much behind the game from there. It was a track you could score runs on once you applied yourselves. Not much in it for the bowlers. Even Rangana Herath – I thought with the harder ball, he was more effective.”Devendra Bishoo grabbed four for 143 as Sri Lanka piled up a huge first-innings score of 484 all out. The 23-year-old skipper applauded the efforts of his bowlers.”I must commend our bowlers. They did really well in the first innings. To come back at the opposition and actually bowl them out was very, very commendable,” Holder said.”I thought our spinners bowled reasonably well and our part-timers in Marlon Samuels and Kraigg Brathwaite did a wonderful job for us. I thought the combination was good enough for this game. It was unfortunate that we didn’t hold our chances. I guess we paid for it.”The second Test will be played in Colombo starting next week Thursday.
With the top three of Portmore United, Montego Bay United and defending champions Arnett Gardens securing their semi-final round qualification for the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), the battle will resume for the other spot.In contention for that spot are the promoted UWI FC (42 points, who are sitting in pole position as they currently occupy fourth, a position they earned last week with a comfortable win over the defending champions Arnett Gardens at the UWI Bowl. Humble Lion (41), the team which occupied that spot for most of the season, will be looking to get an away win over the inconsistent Boys’ Town (38) at Barbican.stop RenoFormer champions Harbour View (39) are still in the running, but they let themselves down badly last week with a loss to Boys’ Town. To get back in the picture, they will have to stop Reno, something that is not beyond them.Humble Lion are just a point behind UWI FC and will be hoping for a slip by the college boys and that they get the better of Boys’ Town to put themselves in the driver’s seat.UWI FC cannot be faulted for the confidence flowing through their ranks ahead of their game against Cavalier, especially after the results of last week. A win over the defending champions is nothing to sniff at and with today’s opponents being put to the sword last week by the relegation-battling Rivoli, they are well within their right to think that these are three points they can take, especially at home.Goalscoring is something that UWI FC can confidently say they have addressed with Girvon Brown finding his scoring boots and using them with regularity and he has been getting good support from Anthony Grant, Anthony Greenland and Kemar Cummings. Cavalier, for their part, will be happy that their top player Chevone Marsh has caught the eye of the national selectors, but will not be so happy that that good fortune has denied them of his services for today’s match.In Marsh’s absence, Cleon Pryce and Sulae McCalla will have to shoulder more of the attacking responsibility for Cavalier.Today’s Games:• 3:30 p.m: Arnett Gardens vs Montego Bay United – Anthony Spaulding Complex• 3:30 p.m: Boys’ Town vs Humble Lion – Barbican Stadium• 3:30 p.m: Harbour View vs Reno – Harbour View Stadium• 3:30 p.m: Portmore United vs Waterhouse – Juici Park, Clarendon• 3:30 p.m: Rivoli United vs Tivoli Gardens – Spanish Town Prison Oval• 3:30 p.m: UWI FC vs Cavalier – UWI Bowl, Mona