Young T&T Red Force wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva showed his class on a difficult batting strip as rain affected play for the second successive day of the West Indies four-day warm-up clash at Old Trafford in Manchester, England on Tuesday.
With the first day lost entirely to rain, Jason Holder's XI took the first strike against the Kraigg Brathwaite's XI, and when stumps were drawn they had struggled to 120 for the loss of five wickets. Da Silva scored half those runs, finishing the day unbeaten on 60.
Young Barbadian speedster Chemar Holder created problems in nice seaming conditions and addressed the on-tour selectors ahead of the first Test against England, by claiming 2-15.
Holder's side slipped from the relative comfort of 79 for one to 108 for five, before Da Silva and Raymond Reifer took them to 120/5 when bad light ended play 45 minutes into the final session.
Da Silva looked good with a number of crisp drives off the front foot, as he and Sunil Ambris were the only batsmen to look comfortable. Nkrumah Bonner was dismissed for the 'duck' while Jamaican Jermaine Blackwood counted only one. Skipper Jason Holder continued his struggles with the bat as he made only five before he was picked out by pacer Anderson Phillip. The Couva player bowled very well, returning figures of 6-3-9-1.
The match will enter its third day today, weather permitting, as the team prepares for the three-match Test series against England. The West Indies will be defending the Wisden Trophy that they won in the Caribbean, last year. The opening Test match takes place at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from July 8.
Meanwhile, head coach of the West Indies Team Phil Simmons, who on five days in isolation as a precaution after leaving the secure West Indies facility to attend a funeral of his father-in-law, who had passed away before the team’s recent assembly in Manchester on Friday. He is missing from the final warm-up match which started on Monday.
In the interim, the players are being prepared by the other members of the coaching staff, led by experienced Assistant Coach Roddy Estwick, for their final inter-squad warm-up match. Because of the convenient design and location of the team hotel, Simmons will be able to view the practice match from his hotel room balcony.
In keeping with the COVID-19 protocols for the tour, Simmons will also be tested at the start and the end of the isolation period. If he is returned negative, he will then rejoin the touring party.
Before the start of the tour Simmons had already sought and was given the necessary permissions from medical officials to leave the team’s base in Manchester. The entire process of his exit and re-entry to the bio-secure location was approved and managed by the medical teams of the CWI and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and strictly followed protocols set up before the tour which addressed such scenarios.
Simmons travelled to the small private family cremation and returned on Friday, following the completion of the first inter-squad three-day warm-up match. It is a well-established policy for CWI players and team officials on tour to be given permission compassionate leave as and when needed.
Following his return, Simmons has been in self-isolation away from other members of the squad, exactly as had always been planned. He has so far undergone two COVID-19 tests since Friday – both of which came back negative. He will have another test on Wednesday before he will re-join the squad as they prepare for the three-match #RaiseTheBat Series against England.
SCORES: Jason Holder’s XI 120-5 off 34 overs (Joshua DaSilva 60 not out, Sunil Ambris 25; Chemar Holder 2-15) vs Kraigg Brathwaite’s XI.
1st Test at Ageas Bowl, Southampton – July 8-12
2nd Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester – July 16-20
3rd Test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester – July 24-28
Test Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach
Reserve Players: Sunil Ambris, Joshua DaSilva, Shannon Gabriel, Keon Harding, Kyle Mayers, Preston McSween, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Anderson Phillip, Oshane Thomas, Jomel Warrican