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25/06/2018 – The Trinidad Guardian. / What a sight it was to behold as the burly menacing speedster, T&T‘s ever-improving Shannon Gabriel hurled down thunderbolt after thunderbolt that had the Sri Lankans hopping and literally dancing at the crease at the two recent Test matches at the Queen’s Park Oval and at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St. Lucia.

For his excellent sustained pace bowling, laced with fire and venom, the Queen’s Park Cricket Club’s 30-year-old right-handed fast bowler was rewarded with bowling figures of 2-48 and 2-52 at the Queen’s Park Oval and the amazing match figures of 13-121 (5-59 in the first innings and an incredible 8-62 in the second innings) in St. Lucia. This latter performance placed him third on the list of best bowling performance in a Test match by a West Indian after the great Michael Holding’s 14-149 back in 1976 against England in England. Second on that list is Courtney Walsh with 13-55 against New Zealand in New Zealand in 1995 while fourth is Andy Roberts with 12-121 versus India in India in 1975. This career-best has propelled Gabriel to No. 12 in the Test rankings.

“It’s a great feeling,” Gabriel, who hails from New Grant, said after the game. “If someone told me, ‘Shannon, you’ll play Tests and take 100 wickets’, I would’ve told him, ‘you’re crazy!’ I’d like to thank family and friends for supporting me.”

Gabriel came to prominence when he was picked for the West Indies Cricket High-Performance Centre for cricketers between the ages of 19 to 27, following which he made his debut for T&T in January 2010.

After playing only three first-class matches he was selected for the West Indies A team against Zimbabwe. After his impressive early showing, he was selected for the 2011 Champions League T20, following which he was named in West Indies Test squad for the England tour in 2012.

He made his Test match debut against England at Lords in May 2012. Then it was onto the inaugural CPL/Caribbean Premier League 2013, where he was in the Barbados Tridents squad.

In 2017 he grabbed 9 for 92 at Kensington Oval to set up a much-needed Test win for Windies against Pakistan.

So far Gabriel has played in 34 Test matches capturing 100 wickets, in 18 ODI‘s taking 23 wickets and just 3 wickets in 2 T20 international games.

Major teams: West Indies, Barbados Tridents, St Lucia Zouks, Trinidad & Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, Trinidad & Tobago Under-19s, West Indies A.

First-class debut: Trinidad & Tobago v the Leeward Islands at St Philip, Jan 29-Feb 1, 2010

ODI debut: vs Australia at Kensington Oval, Jun 21, 2016

T20 Debut: vs Zimbabwe at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Mar 03, 2013

Windies are hoping that Gabriel stays as fit, healthy and at his menacing best in the current third Test against Sri Lanka being played in Barbados.

n This series, SPOTLIGHT, courtesy Health Net Caribbean Limited, profiles some of T&T‘s outstanding athletes.

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