West Indies v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Trinidad, 2nd day April 4, 2008

Chattergoon overcomes debut nerves

Cricinfo staff

Chris Gayle deserved to be pleased with the effort of Sewnarine Chattergoon in his opening Test © AFP

Walking out with his captain settled Sewnarine Chattergoon as he began his Test career with a composed 46 against Sri Lanka. Chattergoon's innings assisted the home team to reach 137 for 1 before his dismissal started the slide towards a stumps score of 268 for 7, a deficit of 10 runs.

Chattergoon was expected to make his debut in the opening match of the two-game series, which Sri Lanka won, but he was ruled out by illness and had to wait for his first cap. Despite Gayle's struggles against Sri Lanka, Chattergoon felt extra confidence as the openers stepped out together.

"I was a bit nervous, but the good thing was that I was with my captain and also a senior member and I rallied around him and he told me to relax and play my normal game," Chattergoon said. "I was looking for the single to get down to the non-striker's end and Gayle helped me a lot because he was playing positively and the Sri Lankan bowlers put more emphasis on him than me."

Gayle, who has five zeroes against Sri Lanka in Tests, reached 45 off 44 balls to give his side a boost after his unbeaten half-century at the end of the first contest. "He has been struggling against Sri Lanka," Chattergoon said, "but he is a world-class batsman and he can come out anytime and destroy any bowling attack, so I was confident going out with him."

Chattergoon, who turned 27 on the first day of the game, hit five fours in his display and stayed for 78 deliveries until being bowled by Chaminda Vaas. In the lead-up to the match he had placed extra emphasis on facing Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, who combined for four of the West Indian wickets.

"The two of them are two great bowlers and to get an opportunity to face them in my first Test innings, it was a bit difficult," he said. "But I played to my ability and I was successful in the end."