Marlon Samuels © Getty Images
Marlon Samuels hit 203 in the tour match against South African Invitation XI © Getty Images

Dec 12, 2014

West Indian batsmen Marlon Samuels and Devon Smith both expressed confidence on Friday after the third and final day of the tourists’ match against a South African Invitation XI at Willowmoore Park was abandoned without a ball bowled because of rain.

The West Indians were in a strong position with the Invitation XI due to resume their second innings at 17 for no wicket, still 366 runs behind the West Indian first innings total of 508.

Samuels hit 203 and Smith 174, with both batsmen retiring. The pair put on 360 for the third wicket.

“I basically paced myself. I am confident,” said Samuels.

“I have been batting very well and I used that momentum to bring me into this game. I am just enjoying batting at the moment and putting some good scores on the board and helping out my team as much as possible”.

Smith, 33, who came into the Test squad as a late replacement for the injured Chris Gayle, said he had arrived in South Africa feeling confident after shining in the West Indian domestic first-class competition.

“I feel good. I think I was in good touch for the first round of the first-class season. I had the most runs before I left home so I think this trend continued from where I left off,” he said Smith.

“I am a little more mature now so I think my game play is different than before”.

The left-hander from Grenada said he had changed his approach to batting and he intended to use the tour of South Africa as an opportunity to cement his place in the West Indies team.

“I try to apply myself as long as possible to the wicket and I think I am a bit more selective in my shot playing.”

The first of three Tests against South Africa starts at Centurion on Wednesday.