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Douglas recalls top knock against West Indies

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Chris Douglas, the St David's captain, attempts to turn this ball down the legside and is given out lbw by umpire Alex Knight (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

The best stroke of a career-defining innings by Chris Douglas against a Test bowling attack never made it to the boundary rope.

The year was 2008, the competition the Scotiabank ODI Tri-Series, when Douglas, 18 at the time, scored a half-century against a West Indies attack boasting Test players Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Daren Powell and Nikita Miller.

In only his second appearance for Bermuda, Douglas picked apart the West Indies attack during a superb knock of 53 at the Maple Leaf Cricket Ground in King City, Ontario.

However, the best shot of his 105-ball innings never received the merit it deserved.

“It was a cover drive struck well, but I was so weak and the bat was so light it didn’t go to the boundary and I ran three on it,” recalls Douglas, who was then playing for Warwick Workmen’s Club. “It was the best shot I played all day, but it just didn’t go for four.”

Although Douglas’s best shot did not reach the fence, six others did, including two flicks off his pads to the fine leg facing the slow left-arm of Miller.

“Jerome Taylor had a lot of swing, as he typically does, Darren Powell not too much movement because he just bangs it in and Nikita Miller was just skeeting on that pitch,” Douglas said. “I actually used the pace with Kemar Roach a lot, which made it quite easy because the pitch was playing quite true.

“Taylor was the only one that actually swung the ball consistently in and away but for some reason it was relatively easy to play back then. I don’t have the same eyes any more.”

Douglas showed absolutely no fear against the experienced attack as he cut loose to reach his half-century in 82 minutes off 98 balls.

“I didn’t have any fear at all and even came down the wicket one or two times to Darren Powell and he actually looked at me and laughed, saying ‘what is this little boy doing’,” Douglas said. “It was just good fun in the game, everybody enjoyed it.”

Miller eventually had the final say after having Douglas caught by Sewnarine Chattergoon in the 41st over as Bermuda slipped to 139 for eight.

Douglas went into the 50-overs match in solid form having scored 69 on his Bermuda debut against Canada at the same ground two days earlier.

“It was an opportunity to show what I have with a lot of good bowlers on the pitch,” he said. “I came out there as No 3 just thinking to do my thing.”

Douglas, the St David’s captain, added: “It’s got to be in my top three innings when you think of the opposition, the point it was in my career and my debut competition for the senior national team.

“It was a good score and not too many people have done that for the country, so that’s definitely up in my top three.”

Led by Ramnaresh Sarwan, deputising for the flu-ridden Chris Gayle, the West Indies recovered after being reduced to 90 for four in reply to Bermuda’s 158 for nine to win by six wickets.

Miller was the pick of the bowlers with three for 19, while Sarwan and Shawn Findlay led the run chase, scoring an unbeaten 49 and 41, respectively.

Gayle recovered from illness to lead the West Indies to back-to-back victories over Canada to win the tri-nation tournament.

Innings to remember: Chris Douglas, the St David’s captain, scored a half-century against West Indies ten years ago