BASSETERRE, St Kitts, CMC – Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root warmed up for next week’s first Test with half-centuries on the opening day of England’s final two-day tour match here yesterday.
Representing a re-jigged St Kitts and Nevis Invitational XI, Bairstow hammered 98 and Root, an unbeaten 87, as the side reached 303 for eight at Warner Park.
Leeward Islands rookie Akeem Saunders chipped in with exactly 50.
Seamer Ben Stokes grabbed three for 32 while off-spinner James Tredwell picked up two for 70.
England survived a scare early in the day when seamer Stuart Broad limped off the field with a suspected ankle injury but managed to return and continue bowling.
Bairstow and Root were two of four England players to represent the hosts, with Gary Balance and Jonathan Trott also joining them.
However, Trott was out to the fourth ball of the day without scoring, caught at third slip by Tredwell off seamer James Anderson, as St Kitts slid to 55 for four.
Bairstow and Root then repaired the innings by adding 145 for the fifth wicket. The right-handed Bairstow hit 13 fours and a six, in an innings lasting 154 deliveries and just over 3-1/4 hours, and said it was important for him to face quality bowling.
“Facing your own bowlers is always ideal preparation,” he said afterward. “They’re world class bowlers and any practice us guys can get facing them is only beneficial.”
Once he fell, St Kitts lost four wickets for eight runs but Root held the innings together with a knock requiring just 119 balls and including 12 fours.