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Burden falls on Benn in draw

Investec Test Series

Sulieman Benn & Denesh Ramdin

Sulieman Benn has provided skipper Denesh Ramdin with a strong spin option in West Indies' opening match

Sulieman Benn was given an extended workout ahead of the npower Test series against England as West Indies were frustrated in their bid for victory in their opening warm-up match.

The towering Bajan left-arm spinner was given a 24-over spell on the final day against Leicestershire at Grace Road as the first step towards regaining his match sharpness before the opening npower Test at Lord's on May 6.

Leicestershire progressed from an 87-run deficit overnight to finish 100 runs ahead on 238 for six when the two captains agreed on a draw.

The tourists have two more warm-up matches - this weekend against Essex at Chelmsford and next week's four-day game against England Lions at Derby - before they assemble at Lord’s.

Benn’s efforts on the final day almost forced an early tour victory, with Leicestershire losing three wickets in seven overs either side of lunch to briefly raise the Windies' hopes of success.

Resuming 87 runs adrift on 51 for one, Leicestershire were progressing serenely with opener Matthew Boyce teaming up with 18-year-old Josh Cobb in a 104-run stand spanning 41 overs.

Boyce was dropped twice before reaching his half-century but fell just two overs before lunch when he changed his mind about trying to pull the medium-pace of Lendl Simmons. He failed to withdraw his bat quickly enough and scooped a catch to extra cover.

Cobb, the England Under-19 batsman, fell the over after lunch, tempted into driving Benn. The spinner tossed the ball up slightly higher and induced an edge behind to wicketkeeper and stand-in captain Denesh Ramdin.

Benn claimed a further wicket four overs later in almost identical circumstances, again tempting new batsman James Taylor into driving.

This time he edged to slip to leave Leicestershire on 134 for four - still four runs adrift with Jim Allenby already ruled out of batting after sustaining a side strain on the first day.

It took a determined 51-run stand between captain Boeta Dippenaar, leading the county in the absence of the rested Paul Nixon, and all-rounder Wayne White to effectively settle the contest with overs running out.

White fell driving fast bowler Lionel Baker behind and Carl Crowe had his middle stump up-rooted by Darren Sammy, but by then both sides had accepted the inevitable outcome and shook hands with 14 overs of the contest remaining.

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