Hope, Bravo shine with half-centuries
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Shai Hope and Darren Bravo batted well to grab the spotlight with half-centuries on the second day of the West Indies two-day warm-up match at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Hope caught the eye with some superb off-side strokes in an enterprising 54, before he was smartly stumped by Shane Dowrich off a delivery from left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul, which pitched on off stump and spun away.
Bravo was characteristically stylish with a sparkling top score of 63 - before falling to a sharp, low catch at slip by Carlos Brathwaite off Permaul.
Devon Thomas chipped in with 27 not out and Marlon Samuels, 22, as Jason Holder's XI finished on 191 for six in reply to the Denesh Ramdin XI's 209 all out.
Hope and Bravo added 84 for the second wicket against an attack which included fast bowlers Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, and left-arm spinners Sulieman Benn and Permaul.
Hope, 21, was one of the leading batsmen for Barbados Pride in the recently concluded WICB Professional Cricket League. He made the tournament's highest score of 211 against the Windward Islands Volcanoes for a total aggregate of 688 runs in nine matches.
He reached his half-century off 140 balls, in 155 minutes with his eighth four - a well-timed straight drive off left-arm spinner Permaul.
Based on his solid performances all year, he is expected to feature in the 14-man squad expected to be named by the West Indies selectors on Friday evening.
Bravo, the classy Trinidadian left-hander, was in need of a good knock on his comeback from injury sustained at the recent ICC Cricket World Cup. He faced 94 balls, batted for two-and-a-half hours, and hit eight fours and a six over long-on.
Roach, who got pace and movement with both the new and old balls, returned figures of two for 23 off 11 overs with four maidens.
The spinners were also effective, with Benn posting impressive figures of two for 29 from 15 overs while Permaul snared two for 41 from 22 overs.
The first Test against England bowls off here on Monday.