Marlon Samuels slams ton ahead of first Test against Zimbabwe

Marlon Samuels struck 55 as the High Performance Centre tallied 213 for seven © AFP

Barbados: March 9, 2013

West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels celebrated his return to full fitness with a typically elegant half-century on the second day of the three-day tour match against Zimbabwe at Barbados.

The right-hander struck 55 as the High Performance Centre tallied 213 for seven in reply to Zimbabwe’s 255 for eight declared, at the Desmond Haynes Oval, reports CMC.

Leg-spinner Graham Cremer staked his claim for a spot in the final XI for the first Test with five for 74.

Samuels has been kept out of action ever since he suffered a serious eye injury while playing in the Australia Big Bash in early January. He top edged a short ball from Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga into his face.

Sidelined for the one-day and Twenty20 series against Zimbabwe, Samuels readied himself for next week’s start of the first Test at Kensington Oval with an innings that required 80 balls in 104 minutes, and contained ten fours.

He put on 74 for the third wicket with captain Kyle Hope whose top score of 62 came from 133 balls in 164 minutes at the crease, with seven fours and a six.

The partnership pulled the HPC around from a rocky position of 15 for two in the fifth over of the innings after seamer Kyle Jarvis knocked over Trevon Griffith (7) and Andre Fletcher (0) cheaply.

When Samuels pulled Cremer to Tino Mawoyo at mid-wicket with the score 89, the HPC then lost four wickets for 55 runs.

However, wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton (37) and Yannic Cariah (36) propped up the innings with a 68-run, seventh wicket stand.