Sports

Windies 'A' close in on victory against Lions

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

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FLORENCE HALL, Trelawny — Jomel Warrican and Shane Dowrich played starring roles as West Indies “A” homed in on victory against England Lions on the third day of the first unofficial four-day “Test” at Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.

At close of play yesterday, West Indies “A” were 31-1 in their second innings, chasing 106 runs to go one-nil up in the three-match series.

The not out batsman is Captain Kieran Powell on 16. Fellow left-hand opener John Campbell was dismissed by spinner Jack Leach for 15 to what turned out to be the last ball of the day.

Play is scheduled to begin 9:30 on today's final morning — half an hour earlier than usual — to make up for time lost yesterday due to repair work done on the bowlers' landing area at both ends of the pitch.

The game was pushed forward quickly due to the England Lions' second-innings collapse last afternoon that saw them bowled out for 132 after they had surrendered a first-innings lead of 27 runs.

Scores: Lions 252 (107.5 overs) & 132 (59.3 overs); Windies “A” 279 (96 overs) & 31-1 (4.4 overs).

West Indies “A” slow left-arm orthodox bowler Warrican was the chief destroyer, snaring 7-33 from 23 overs and three balls. It is the best by a West Indian versus England at this level.

Earlier in the day, Dowrich, the West Indies Test wicketkeeper, made a stylish 119 for his fifth first-class hundred. The 26-year-old shared in a match-changing ninth-wicket partnership of 161 runs with Warrican, who ended unbeaten on 71. It was Warrican's maiden half-century at the first-class level after previously having a best of 32.

Warrican told the Jamaica Observer during an interview at close of play that West Indies “A” will continue their positive approach this morning.

“We're off to a good start, but it's just unlucky that we lost that one wicket. We are playing very positive right now, and we don't want to waste any time tomorrow — we just want to win this game as quickly as possible,” said the 25-year-old.

He explained that the standard of his bowling in the first innings was not different from in the second.

“Any achievement like that is great, I just want to grow from strength to strength. In the first innings I felt I was a bit unlucky not getting more wickets, but in the second innings it was just my day. I stayed disciplined and bowled the right areas and waited for the results,” he said.

Jack Leach admitted his team has an uphill task, but after taking 3-84 in the first innings and snatching the wicket of Campbell yesterday, he is eyeing an unlikely win for his team.

“We've got a lot to do and hopefully I can put in a very good performance tomorrow. It's not a big total, so we've got to create something…we've got to stick in there and limit runs and try to create panic in the other dressing room,” he told reporters.

Yesterday, play started half an hour later than scheduled due to morning rainfall with West Indies “A” resuming from 232-8. Dowrich and Warrican were unbeaten on 90 and 54, respectively.

After England took the new ball, an inviting long hop from Toby Roland-Jones was effortlessly dispatched to the square cover boundary for Dowrich to bring up three figures.

But after all the threat of rain around the ground it was softness in and around the landing point for bowlers at the southern end that culminated in bizarre scenes at the ground.

Both umpires and ground staff oversaw the use of fire mounted on top of a piece of metal sheet to help dry areas at both ends.

That delay, which led to only 16 minutes of play before the lunch interval, did not seem to bother the batsmen much when action resumed.

Dowrich's delectable front-foot drive off Toby Roland-Jones that sent the ball racing to the cover boundary confirmed he was unbothered, while Warrican was solid as ever.

The wicketkeeper eventually went to the spin of Liam Livingstone after hitting 10 fours and a six off 222 balls. Last man Keon Joseph (zero) was also dismissed by Livingstone to leave Warrican stranded.

In an unconventional move, off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall, who took five wickets in the first innings, shared the new ball with fast bowler Joseph. And it paid off when the Lions' captain and left-hand opener Keaton Jennings played back to cut and nicked a catch to Dowrich for nought.

In the first over after tea, Warrican made his first mark on the second innings when Nick Gubbins (20) drove at a flighted delivery and edged a catch for Jermaine Blackwood to take at slip.

Opener Haseeb Hameed was dropped by Campbell at short extra cover off Warrican, but the batsman failed to capitalise. Playing back to the very next ball from Warrican he was bowled for a top score of 39 at 75-3.

Warrican later sent back Livingstone (one) and Joe Clarke (31), and Cornwall accounted for Ben Foakes (20) and Roland-Jones (two) as the visitors slumped to 124-7.

Warrican had his fifth when he tricked first-innings top-scorer Paul Coughlin with a straight ball that trapped the batsman leg before wicket for 11, before the left-arm spinner wrapped up the innings with the wickets of Mason Crane (zero) and James Porter (zero) in the same over.

West Indies “A” were off to a flyer-chasing 106, but in the last over of the day, Campbell edged a delivery from Leach to slip where Livingtone did the honours.

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