Bravo, Barath get in the groove
LEICESTER, England – Darren Bravo and Adrian Barath appeared to get their groove back, collecting half-centuries to pull West Indies out of early strife against Leicestershire in their weather-affected tour match on Saturday.
Bravo scored a typically flashy 66 and Barath finished unbeaten on 53, as the Windies, choosing to bat, reached 150 for three in their first innings before bad light stopped play early on the first day of the two-day match at Grace Road.
Rookie left-hander Assad Fudadin was with Barath at the close on seven not out, in his first knock of the tour.
Only 50 overs were possible, after play started half-hour late due to overnight rain, which caused a damp outfield.
But Bravo and compatriot Barath looked in fine touch and put on 111 for the third wicket, after Kieran Powell fell for nine and stand-in captain Kirk Edwards went for a second-ball duck, leaving the visitors 25 for two.
The left-handed Powell was dubiously caught behind off the first ball of Nadeem Malik’s fifth over for nine before Edwards, leading the side in the absence of regular captain Darren Sammy, was plumb lbw to a full-length delivery, three balls later to same bowler.
Bravo and Barath then combined to transform the fortunes of the visitors with their partnership.
Striking the ball sweetly and cleanly, Bravo counted 10 fours and a six – a thunderous blow off left-arm spinner James Sykes onto the roof of the Indoor School that raised the hundred partnership – in an innings that lasted just 97 balls and spanned close to 2 ½ hours.
Barath, meanwhile, showed his usual penchant for the off-side in stroking four boundaries off 151 balls in three hours, 38 minutes at the crease.
Rain interrupted play in the afternoon session for over an hour, but West Indies were unfazed on resumption, and Bravo soon raised his third half-century of the tour with a single into the off-side off left-arm spinner James Sykes.
The stylish 23-year-old eventually fell when he missed a booming drive at left-arm fast-medium bowler Rob Taylor and was bowled, leaving West Indies 136 for three.
Just a handful more overs were possible before bad light ended play prematurely.
The tour match is a prelude to the third and final Test against England, starting this coming Thursday at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
WEST INDIES 1st Innings
A. Barath not out 53
K. Powell c wkpr Eckersley b Malik 9
*K. Edwards lbw b Malik 0
D.M. Bravo b Taylor 66
A. Fudadin not out 7
Extras (b1, lb8, w6) 15
TOTAL (3 wkts) 150
N. Deonarine, +D. Ramdin, T. Best, S. Shillingford, R. Rampaul, F. Edwards to bat
Fall of wickets: 1-25 (Powell), 2-25 (K Edwards), 3-136 (Bravo)
Bowling: Malik 11-2-35-2, Joseph 11-5-21-0, Thakor 8-0-32-0, Taylor 11-3-23-1, Sykes 8-1-26-0, du Toit 1-0-4-0
LEICESTERSHIRE: *J. Cobb, G. Smith, M. Thornely, +N. Eckersley, Kadeer Ali, J. du Toit, S. Thakor, R. Taylor, R. Joseph, N. Malik, J. Sykes
Toss: West Indies
Umpires: M. Benson, R. Evans