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West Indies warm-up report: Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite in the runs on day one | Cricket News

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Alzarri Joseph runs through the tail to finish with 4-60, while Shannon Gabriel too catches the eye with 3-32

Last Updated: 23/06/20 8:00pm

Shai Hope hit a half century on day one of the West Indies' intra-squad warm-up game at Old Trafford

Shai Hope hit a half century on day one of the West Indies’ intra-squad warm-up game at Old Trafford

Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope found form with the bat, each hitting a half century, on the opening day of the West Indies’ intra-squad warm-up match at Emirates Old Trafford.

The tourists, who have combined their mandatory 14-day quarantine with a training camp in Manchester, split their 25-man squad in two for the match, with Brathwaite leading a side packed with first-choice batsmen against Test skipper Jason Holder, who took charge of a team heavy on bowling.

Brathwaite responded well to his temporary leadership role, as he and Hope did the bulk of the batting, notching scores of 84 and 83 respectively, recalling their shared triumph in the famous run-chase to beat England at Headingley three years ago.

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But following a century stand between the pair, Brathwaite’s side were bowled out for just 275 as Holder’s team ended the day in inspired fashion, with a flurry of five wickets in 31 balls.

Alzarri Joseph did the damage late on, ripping out the tail to finish with figures of 4-60, while Shannon Gabriel also caught the eye, taking 3-32.

Gabriel – currently listed among West Indies’ 11 reserves for the series but who appears certain to be upgraded to the main squad – struck first on the day, with John Campbell out for a 16-ball duck when top-edging an attempted pull to Joseph at midwicket.

Brathwaite was almost caught at third slip off Gabriel’s next delivery but, having survived that, he ground out a dogged innings that relied on quick singles, the occasional driven boundary and a degree of patience.

Gabriel grabbed another before the lunch interval, with No 3 batsman Shamarh Brooks (17) edging one that kicked up off a length outside his off stump.

Shai Hope admits his modest Test record since his Headingley heroics against England in 2017 is a source of frustration

Shai Hope admits his modest Test record since his Headingley heroics against England in 2017 is a source of frustration

Having reached lunch precariously placed at 54-2, Brathwaite and Hope went on to nudge the game in the batting side’s favour in the afternoon session. It took Hope 22 balls to get off the mark but once off and running he raised the tempo with 39 off his next 45 deliveries.

Brathwaite could not match his flicks and flourishes for elegance but reached his half century in 116 balls, weathering a handful of appeals as he progressed. At one stage Gabriel reacted to an unsuccessful caught behind by bellowing “Jesus Christ boy, you are dishonest!” but his wide grin told the story.

Kemar Roach got the all-important wicket before tea, following a big lbw shout, by uprooting Brathwaite’s off stump.

From 176-3 at the start of the evening session, the batting side were swiftly skittled out following the key wicket of Hope, nicking off to Joseph, who then had Raymon Reifer and Anderson Phillip caught in the slips and finished the day off by castling Chemar Holder first ball.

Rahkeem Cornwall and Preston McSween each picked up a wicket but Holder, nursing a minor ankle niggle, did not bowl.

The coronavirus crisis has meant no significant top-level cricket anywhere in the world since the Pakistan Super League was shut down in mid-March, but this three-day tune-up marks a major staging post before next month’s ‘bio-secure’ Test series against England.

While it was refreshing to see players back on the park, the sight of both sides lining up in the West Indies’ maroon and navy training kit – with several wearing shorts and a couple donning hooded sweaters in the outfield – provided a reminder that these are still baby steps towards the real thing.

Watch England’s three-Test series at home to West Indies live in full on Sky Sports from July 8.

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