Dyson laments Essex washout
West Indies coach John Dyson rued his players’ missed opportunities after rain washed out the final day of the tour match against Essex at Chelmsford.
Not a single ball was bowled after Essex closed day two on 175 for three, an overall advantage of 292, meaning the tourists were denied atonement for their first-innings capitulation.
Only Shivnarine Chanderpaul applied himself against the moving ball and the others’ susceptibility is something England Lions will want to prey on in the four-day match at Derby which begins on Thursday.
“I thought we batted poorly except for Shiv,” said Dyson, after the West Indies were shot out for just 146. “He just bats and bats.
“The other batsmen are very inexperienced in these sorts of conditions and they wasted their opportunity here to get some good time in the middle.
“They have hopefully learned a good lesson here about how to handle these conditions.
“Our bowlers have all bowled some reasonable spells and it is just a matter of consistency throughout the total innings which they need to work on.”
Fast bowler Jerome Taylor was due to arrive in the UK today after recovering from a hip injury - he underwent a fitness test in the Caribbean before departing - and will aim for match practice against England’s second string ahead of next week’s first npowerTest at Lord’s.
“We expect him to be fully fit,” confirmed Dyson. “The reports from the West Indies say that and we expect him to play at Derby.”
Taylor, England’s destroyer in the Jamaica Test in February, is a definite for the Test XI along with Fidel Edwards, who arrives on Sunday after his stint in the Indian Premier League, which means one fast-bowling berth remains unfilled.
Lionel Baker, who deputised for Taylor in Trinidad last month, was the pick of the attack against Essex, claiming 4-13 wickets to fall.
“Lionel Baker bowled some good spells in this match,” said Dyson. “He bowled at other times not so well.
“He still has a bit of work to do but he knows that. He is still in pole position as he is the man in possession and one of the others would have to do something brilliant to knock him out.”
Edwards and captain Chris Gayle will have only two days of net practice ahead of the opening match of the international summer but, for those already here, Derby offers one more chance to stake a claim.
“It is very unusual these days to go into a Test series with so many games under your belt,” Dyson said. “It is nice for us seeing as we have a group of younger players with us from the Caribbean.
“It gives us a chance to see them out of their home conditions.”
England opener Alastair Cook came through his first match of the season in positive mood after his testing of a fractured finger returned a 46 and 74 not out.
“I thought Cook looked in extremely good touch, particularly for someone who has not played much cricket for the last three or four weeks,” said acting Essex captain James Foster.
“The finger caused him a little bit of gip in the first innings but when I was batting with him yesterday, he said it was feeling a lot better which was very encouraging.”
The ease with which Cook and Foster shared an unbroken 77 for the fourth wicket contrasted sharply to the shambolic batting display of the tourists against a young Essex attack led impressively by Jamaican-raised Maurice Chambers.
The 21-year-old, one of half-a-dozen pacemen cherry-picked by England for a Florida fitness course this past winter, snared a career-best 4-62.
“We exploited the conditions presented to us to their absolute fullness,” said Foster. “We were delighted with that.
“The spearhead was probably Maurice: the way he bowled was exceptional, he is a real talent and no wonder England have got their eyes all over him.
“He has had a very solid winter, worked hard on his fitness and the way he has started the year has been excellent.”