Weather scuppers Windies warm-up but Holder pleased with outing

Jason Holder

LEICESTER, England, CMC – Captain Jason Holder said he was pleased West Indies had gotten valuable batting practice in their two-day tour match against Leicestershire, even though their hopes of giving their bowlers time in the middle ahead of this week’s Lord’s Test was foiled by bad light and rain here yesterday.

Ony 73 deliveries were possible on the final day of the encounter at Grace Road before fading light and rain brought a premature end to play

In the 1-1/4 hours play possible, the hosts had reached 70 for one with Harry Dearden unbeaten on 42.

Holder said despite the final day disappointment, however, the Windies’ first innings of 377 for seven declared meant they had accomplished much in the contest.

Alzarri Joseph

“I would say we got what we wanted from this game. The most important thing was for the batsmen to get some time in the middle as we look forward to Lord’s,” Holder said.

“Hetmyer showed what he’s capable of with that powerful knock yesterday, and Shane (Dowrich) made the most of it by batting solidly and also scoring a hundred.”

The 20-year-old Hetmyer smashed a better than run-a-ball hundred to finish unbeaten on 128 from 120 balls while Dowrich fashioned a composed 108 not out.

Coming on the heels of their triumph in the second Test at Headingley last week, the performance added to the Windies confidence with the third and final Test beginning at Lord’s on Thursday.

Holder said the touring side was relaxed and focussed, and streamlining their preparation for the series decider.

“We have stayed focused and we won’t put too much pressure on ourselves,” the all-rounder stressed.

“We wanted our batsmen to get runs and prepare well for the Lord’s Test. We will now head down to London and continue our preparation and build-up. There a lot to play for.”

The 20-year-old left-handed Dearden faced 45 balls and struck seven fours and put on 61 for the first wicket with 19-year-old Sam Evans who made 18 on his first-team debut.

Evans was the only wicket to fall, edging a full-length delivery from pacer Alzarri Joseph for Shai Hope to hold a low catch diving to his right at gully.

Joseph came on first change, replacing speedster Shannon Gabriel, and bowled with pace and accuracy to trouble the batsmen.

Dearden, with just 12 first-class matches under his belt, looked solid as he gathered boundaries on both sides of the wicket.

West Indies lost the opening Test at Edgbaston by an innings and 209 runs inside three days before rebounding to snatch an amazing five-wicket victory in the second match at Headingley last week.

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