Kyle Mayers, who on Sunday played the greatest debut knock of all time to propel Windies to an unlikely win, asserted that his historic innings will inspire youngsters in the years to come. Making his Test debut, Mayers struck 210* in the fourth innings to help West Indies chase down 395.
One month ago, Barbados’ Kyle Mayers boasted a first-class average of 28 and was a long way away from playing Test cricket for West Indies. Back then, not even in his wildest dreams would he have imagined that, a month later, he would immortalize himself as the ‘greatest debutant of all time’. But destiny works in funny ways.
Making his Test debut in daunting Chattogram conditions, Mayers, on Sunday, played the greatest knock by a debutant - ever. Walking in at 59/3, chasing 395, a heavy defeat for West Indies seemed like a formality but Mayers had other ideas. Battling the odds, the southpaw, on debut, remarkably struck a double-century and in the process helped his side knock down the total. Mayers’ knock made him an overnight hero, but it also meant that the Windies chased down the fifth-highest target in Test history.
It was, put simply, the definition of a ‘dream debut’, and speaking post his heroic efforts, the 28-year-old asserted that the 210* will be a knock that will inspire youngsters in the generations to come.
"It's a great feeling to be playing Test cricket, and then going on to score 100, 200 and then to win the match, it's a really special feeling. I'd like to thank the coach, captain, teammates, coaches and family back home as well. I'm really grateful to everyone. A guy making his debut and scoring a double will definitely inspire youngsters,” Mayers said of his knock, reported Cricbuzz.
Having conceded a 171-run lead, and having been reduced to 59/3 in pursuit of 395, the Windies were staring down the barrel but a scarcely believable effort from all players, including Mayers, helped the visitors get over the line. A 216-run fourth-wicket stand between Mayers and fellow debutant Nkrumah Bonner is what set the game up for Windies, and the Barbadian revealed that the senior players in the side urged the youngsters to ‘keep fighting’.
"I'm always positive and believed in my ability, and believed that we could get there. We never give up, and keep fighting. The skipper and the coach tell us to keep fighting. Shannon put in a great effort on that wicket and that inspired all of us to do well."
Windies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, who took up leadership duties in the absence of Jason Holder, meanwhile revealed that he believed in the team from Day 1, despite them being ‘weak’ on paper. Brathwaite asserted that his side executed plans to perfection and claimed that he and the boys were, in fact, ‘inspired’ to put up a show in the absence of big guns.
"I believed in this team from Day 1, and we backed ourselves right upto Day 5," the West Indies captain said.
"We lost some momentum with three wickets lost, but the pitch was still playing well. We just trusted our plans and believed in them. Mayers and Bonner stuck to the plans and executed them really well. I should have gone on to get a bigger score, but Blackwood played well. Mayers got a good score first up too, and then Joshua.
"Shannon gave me an aggressive spell, and Roach never says no when asked to bowl, and the spinners never complained when asked to bowl either, so we just had to keep working as a team. I wouldn't say this was a depleted side, and it was an inspiration for us to come and do well. We had to execute well on Day 5 and managed it, which was good."
Victory in the first Test means that the Windies can no longer lose the series. The second and the final Test of the series will be played in Dhaka from February 11.