West Indies struggle against mediocre MCC XI

Published: Saturday, June 2, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Struggling West Indies failed to bowl out a weak MCC team, who put on a spirited performance at Durham's Racecourse ground, ending the day on 234-7.

The tourists suffered injury scares ahead of third Test against England as Chris Gayle and Ravi Rampaul retire injured during an unconvincing warm-up display.

Gayle's withdrawal shortly after lunch was a precautionary measure after the opening batsman suffered a minor tear in his rib muscle, while Rampaul was taken to hospital for a scan on a fresh thigh injury and has been ruled out of taking part at Old Trafford.

A notable omission from the West Indies side was Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who missed the second Test against England at Headingley with a knee injury, along with Corey Collymore and Dwayne Bravo, both of whom featured in Leeds.

Daren Ganga took over the captaincy as expected from the injured Ramnaresh Sarwan, but the skipper's newly announced batting replacement, Marlon Samuels, was rested ahead of next week's crucial clash.

The one positive for the visitors was the bowling of Jerome Taylor, who took five wickets to cap an impressive individual performance.

MCC, captained by former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya, won the toss and elected to bat on a sunny morning.

Ireland's Will Porterfield and fellow opener Paul Dixey found little joy from the West Indies opening bowling pair Daren Powell and Fidel Edwards, who looked lively and extracted good pace in the wicket.

Dixey was dismissed without scoring, in the eighth over, when he was caught off guard by a short pitched and unpredictable Edwards delivery, miscuing his hook and seeing the ball loop behind to Runako Morton at slip.

Powell bowled economically for seven overs - allowing Porterfield a rare boundary in the 11th - before he was replaced by fellow paceman Taylor.

Taylor, who took English wickets in both Test matches, made an instant impact by bowling Zoheb Sharif for eight in his second over, and then surprising the resilient Porterfield with a swinging full toss which caught the batsmen lbw for 21.

MCC batsmen Evans and Morris gave a spirited response after lunch and frustrated West Indian bowlers Powell and particularly Daren Sammy.

Morris eventually went for 30, when a brisk Taylor ball was edged and taken behind by Ramdin and Evans followed shortly after - having reached an impressive 51 - in the same manner.

Sri Lankan legend, Jayasuriya treated the Durham crowd to some excellent strokes in a brief innings before swinging wildly at a fast Taylor deliver and being caught at slip by Morton.

The final session saw some competent batting from the MCC side, who lost just one further wicket.

Simon Butler fell for 12 to a rasping Sammy seamer with the score at 188 for seven, providing a brief cause for celebration amongst the West Indies ranks.

S H Choudary and Mali Richards - son of West Indies legend Vivian - helped MCC over the 200 mark, boasting an array of neatly-timed shots and frustrating Sammy and Powell.

Brief Scores (D-1):

MCC XI 234 for 7 (Evans 51, Morris 30, Porterfield 21, Choudary 45 n o, Mali Richards 20 n o; Taylor 5 for 43) Vs West Indies

ThatsCricket (with inputs from Agencies)

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