Jamaica’s duo of Jermaine Blackwood and Nkrumah Bonner both came close to hitting a half-century in the final warm-up game for the tourists in England, with the West Indies set to travel to Southampton for the opening Test at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl (8-12 July).
Blackwood impressed at the crease, in his bid to earn a first Test start in almost three years, by rattling off 43 from just 48 balls. But he was clean bowled by Roston Chase’s opening delivery of the match.
All-rounder Bonner also came up slightly short with a patient knock of 47 in the four-day intra-squad match, which ended in a draw at Lancashire’s Old Trafford ground in Manchester.
The 31-year-old middle-order batsman, on his inaugural Test tour with the Windies, was at the crease for over two hours and hit three fours and a six before being caught by compatriot John Campbell off Rahkeem Cornwall’s bowling.
Skipper Jason Holder’s decision to promote himself to open the batting backfired, scoring just two off 15 deliveries to mean that the Bajan has hit just seven runs and faced fewer than 30 balls in three innings across the two intra-squad matches.
Monday’s opening day of the four-day warm-up match was abandoned due to wet weather and the contest petered to a draw. Holder’s select XI were skittled out for 272, but less than an hour of play was possible on the final morning because of overnight rain.
Test vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite’s XI improved their overnight total from 112-7 to 178 all out, with Trinidad & Tobago fast bowler Shannon Gabriel taking 4-42 to Holder’s XI a first-innings lead of 94 runs. After Holder’s side made 170-4, a lead of 264, an early finish was agreed.
Gabriel has now been promoted to the Test squad after proving his fitness following ankle surgery with impressive performances in the two inter-squad warm-up matches at Old Trafford. The 32-year-old has bowled in three innings, collecting eight wickets for 122 runs and played 45 matches for the Windies.
The 25-player Windies squad arrived in Manchester three weeks ago and will live, train and play in a “bio-secure” environment during their seven-week tour of England, as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety. These bio-secure protocols will restrict movement in and out of the venues, with 10 reserve players travelling to train and help prepare the Test squad.
Windies squad for England tour
Test squad – Jason Holder, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shemarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.
Reserves – Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shane Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican.
WISDEN TROPHY TEST SCHEDULE
1st Test – Ageas Bowl, Southampton
2nd Test – Old Trafford, Manchester
3rd Test – Old Trafford, Manchester
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