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Bravo and Barath prosper in tour match

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Darren Bravo and Adrian Barath hit half-centuries as West Indies reached stumps on 150 for three against Leicestershire on a rain-interrupted first day at Grace Road.

Yet there was no joy for out-of-form batsmen Kirk Edwards and Kieran Powell, who fell cheaply in the two-day warm-up game ahead of the third Investec Test against England at Edgbaston next week.

Leicestershire seamer Nadeem Malik dismissed both in the same over, Powell falling for nine and Edwards a duck.

However, Bravo and Barath then shared a third-wicket stand of 111 in 33 overs to pull the tourists out of trouble.

Early morning rain delayed the start by half an hour, and acting captain Edwards had no hesitation in deciding to bat after winning the toss. He, more than anyone, needed as much time in the middle as possible but, instead, his miserable tour continued.

Barath and Powell put on 25 in the first eight overs, before Malik struck twice in four balls.

Powell edged to wicketkeeper Ned Eckersley off the seamer’s first delivery and his fourth accounted for Edwards, pinned lbw by a ball of full length.

Adrian Barath

Adrian Barath, pictured, was one of two West Indies batsmen to impress at Grace Road, but Kirk Edwards and Kieran Powell failed again

It was Edwards’ fourth duck in eight innings on a tour in which he has managed a total of only 20 runs with a top score of eight.

Fortunately for the tourists, Barath and Bravo looked in good touch as they steadily built an excellent partnership.

Barath produced two sweetly-timed cover drives and then brought up the fifty stand with an on-driven three.

After a cautious start, Bravo also began to play some fluent strokes, and a cover-drive to the boundary off Malik saw the total past 100.

West Indies’ progress was halted for more than an hour by an afternoon rain shower, but, on the resumption, Bravo immediately struck two fours off Malik and soon brought up his half-century from 83 balls.

A massive six from Bravo off left-arm spinner James Sykes followed to bring up the hundred partnership.

However, having hit 66 off 97 balls, Bravo went for another expansive drive and was bowled by left-arm seamer Rob Taylor.

Barath reached his half-century off 136 balls with a four off Sykes - his fourth - but with the light worsening, play was called off for the day at 6pm with the opener unbeaten on 53 and Assad Fudadin on seven not out.

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