Windies lose two in short session
West Indies’ first taste of batting on their tour of England cost them two wickets in 18 overs as play finally got under way against Sussex on day two of three at the PROBIZ County Ground.
More overnight rain prevented any cricket before 2.45pm, after yesterday’s washout, in this first of two matches for the Windies before the opening Investec Test at Lord’s on May 17.
They were treated to classic early-season conditions - full cloud cover and floodlights on - on the way to 45 for two when bad light stopped play just before tea.
Sussex won the toss and bravely took the fielding option, prioritising wicket-taking potential over the discomfort of a fierce chill and swampy surrounds.
They were rewarded when Adrian Barath, somewhat unluckily, managed to deflect a ball via pad - the lbw appeal appeared optimistic to a delivery angled towards leg - on to the base of the stumps.
That gave second-change seamer Kirk Wernars a breakthrough with the final delivery of his first over, up the hill.
Kirk Edwards ought then to have gone for a second-ball duck, but was dropped at second slip by Luke Wells off Chris Liddle.
Thereafter, Edwards and Kieran Powell defended and drove with assurance until the former fell much as he might have done eight overs earlier - edging to third slip as left-arm seamer Liddle continued to test him from round the wicket.
No further action was possible following tea and play was called off for the day shortly after 5pm.
But opener Barath is not too worried about the time taken out of the game and is confident the Windies will have ample preparation before the Tests begin.
“I think there’s sufficient time,” said the diminutive 22-year-old. “Normally we wouldn’t have all this time, coming in a week before.
“That will serve us well. We’re looking to grasp the opportunity, and make every opportunity count. They’re very important. It’s good that we’re here two weeks before the first Test match.”
Barath had already made his unlucky exit - but, on a day which was not for the faint-hearted, he would have been delighted to put up with more discomfort in exchange for time in the middle.
“I don’t mind the extreme conditions. It’s nice to experience these things,” he added. “We’re not surprised about these conditions. It’s something we expected.”