HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIRST TEST, WINDSOR PARK, DOMINICA, WEST INDIES.
Call me crazy but…put me on a tropical island with the promise of test cricket and I truly do find heaven. So when the stars aligned in 2015 for some cricket watching West Indian style on the islands of Dominica and Jamaica, all that was left to do was pack the bags and start dreaming of Zen.
The First Test began at Windsor Park in Roseau, Dominica on the 3rd of June. After two absorbing days of cricket viewed from the stands, having seen the Australian bowling line up of Johnson, Starc, Hazelwood and Lyon dismiss the West Indies for 148 before tea on the first day, and thirty-five year Adam Voges steady the visitors first innings to become the twentieth Australian to score a test century on debut, my two young boys requested a change of scenery on day three. “Please take us to the hill mummy. It looks really fun there. We want to go to the hill. Come on, let’s go, pleeeaaasse mummy,” they both implored.
So off I traipsed to the rickety makeshift ticket office outside the ground to purchase additional tickets for an afternoon on the hill under the blazing Caribbean sun. And thanks to the good natured, kind hearted fun loving Australians we met soon after, that’s when the fun really started.
Within a few minutes our cricket bat was spotted and seconds later a ball appeared. Before we knew it some of the guys from The Fanatics touring party and eight of their jovial tag-a-long mates, dressed by the way in delightful green and gold mini-dresses and matching yellow headbands, had surrounded the kids for an impromptu game of cricket.
Chaos ensued as these friendly, good natured, beer drinking Aussies proceeded to embrace and entertain my two young boys for the rest of the afternoon. When they weren’t playing cricket on the hill, they carried the boys on their shoulders, danced with them, included them in everything they did and went out of their way to make sure they were having the time of their life! My seven year old later declared it the most fun he’d ever had!
At one point they staged a hilarious mock wedding with a ‘bride’ and a groom called Gravy, named after the well known West Indies cricket fan from Antigua called Gravy.
For those of us actually watching the game…the cricket was absorbing as the experienced Marlon Samuels, 74, and debutant Shane Dowrich, 70, fought hard for West Indies in the second innings putting on a solid partnership and for a while it looked like the game might go into a fourth day. But West Indies again capitulated losing their last seven wickets for 35 runs, setting Australia just 47 runs to win the test. Enter David Warner who belted 28 in the blink of an eye as we cheered Australia to an emphatic victory late on the third day.