England laments poor opposition in tour game against St Kitts Invitational XI
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC):
Off-spinner James Tredwell has lamented the quality of opposition in England's first two-day warm-up match which ended Tuesday, but says the tourists made the most of the outing in preparation for next week's first Test.
England faced a St Kitts and Nevis Invitational XI short on real quality, with the likes of Leeward Islands first-class players Shane Jeffers, Steve Liburd and Sherwin Peters included. Most of the side, however, lacked extensive experience at first-class level.
Playing at Warner Park, the hosts were dismissed for 55 in their first innings and were struggling at 76 for seven in their second innings when play was called off.
The visitors, meanwhile, piled up 379 for six declared in their first innings, with captain Alastair Cook stroking 101 retired.
"We'd have liked a sterner contest, but you play the cards you are dealt and get on with it," Tredwell said.
"A little bit of a sterner contest would have been handy, but it's time in the middle for us."
He added: "You don't necessarily want to start the tour with a long day in the dirt early on either."
England clash with West Indies in the first Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua starting next Monday.
The drawn two-day encounter will be one of two tour games in preparation for that contest, with a second two-day game under way at Warner Park against the same opponents.
With the Test in mind, England have asked to bowl the entire first day regardless of who wins the toss.
Tredwell said the aim in the second game would be to give both their bowlers and batsmen a full day in the field.
"The chat about Wednesday (yesterday) was that we would try and bowl for a full day to get the 90 overs in our legs, two or three spells for the bowlers and bat on the last day for a long time," Tredwell added.
"If we spend the whole day in the field, it's probably more important than anything else. It's really about time in the middle and miles in the legs."
The Antigua Test will be followed by contests in Grenada and Barbados.