Tour match ends in rain

LEICESTER, England – Rain on Sunday severely scuppered West Indies’ plans for vital match practice ahead of the third and final Test against England, starting this coming Thursday at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Not a ball was bowled on the second day of the two-day tour match against Leicestershire at Grace Road, where the Windies were to resume on 150 for three in their first innings.

Bleak conditions greeted the visitors when they arrived at the match venue to gather their playing kit before the hour-long drive to Birmingham.

Heavy overnight and morning rain had left the ground saturated, leaving umpires Mark Benson and Russell Evans with little or no choice, but abandon the match half-hour before the scheduled start with the weather unlikely to change significantly.

The adverse weather sweeping across the United Kingdom this weekend also restricted the opening day on Saturday to just 50 overs, when Darren Bravo with 66 and Adrian Barath, unbeaten on 53, showed encouraging signs of form.

But left-handed opener Kieran Powell and vice-captain Kirk Edwards fell cheaply.

The weather also prevented reserve batsmen Assad Fudadin, not out on seven, and fellow left-handed compatriot Narsingh Deonarine, due to come next, from getting a proper hit in the match to determine their level of comfort and confidence.

The washout also meant that the team’s think-tank could gain a proper assessment of fast bowlers Tino Best and Fidel Edwards with the place for a strike bowler open, following Kemar Roach’s return home to Barbados with a shin injury.

Off-spinner Sunil Narine, absent from the first Two Tests due to Indian Premier League commitments, arrived on Sunday as his replacement.

Sun, 06/03/2012 - 11:08