Holder pleased with final Test preparations

West Indies

Captain Jason Holder said he was pleased West Indies had gotten valuable batting practice in their two-day tour match against Leicestershire, even though their hopes of giving their bowlers time in the middle was foiled by bad light and rain here Sunday.

Ony 73 deliveries were possible on the final day of the encounter at Grace Road before fading light and rain brought a premature end to play as the Windies prepare for the third and final Test against England starting at Lord’s on Thursday.

In less than two hours of play that was possible, the hosts had reached 70 for one with Harry Dearden unbeaten on 42.

Holder said despite the final day disappointment, the Windies’ first innings of 377 for seven declared meant they had accomplished much in the contest.

The 20-year-old Shimron Hetmyer smashed a better than run-a-ball hundred to finish unbeaten on 128 from 120 balls while Test wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich fashioned a composed 108 not out.

Holder said: “I would say we got what we wanted from this game. The most important thing was for the batsmen to get some time in the middle as we look forward to Lord’s.

“Hetmyer showed what he’s capable of with that powerful knock, and Shane made the most of it by batting solidly and also scoring a hundred.”

Coming on the heels of their triumph in the second Test at Headingley last week, the performance added to the Windies’ confidence ahead of the final Test at the Home of Cricket.

Holder said the touring side were relaxed and focussed, and streamlining their preparation for the series decider.

“We have stayed focused and we won’t put too much pressure on ourselves,” the all-rounder stressed.

“We wanted our batsmen to get runs and prepare well for the Lord’s Test. We will now head down to London and continue our preparation and build-up. There a lot to play for.”

West Indies lost the opening Test at Edgbaston by an innings and 209 runs inside three days before rebounding to snatch an amazing five-wicket victory in the second match at Headingley.