Da Silva completes century as Hodge fell one short in West Indies' drawn warm-up contest with Cricket Australia XI

By Sports Desk January 12, 2024
Joshua da Silva (left) and Kavem Hodge. Joshua da Silva (left) and Kavem Hodge. CWI Media

Joshua Da Silva wrapped up West Indies' on-field preparations to cross swords with Australia in a two-Test series by hitting a century in their drawn three-day warm-up contest against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide.

Kavem Hodge, who is one of seven uncapped players in the 15-man squad, did his chances of a debut no harm with 99, before being bowled by spinner Doug Warren agonisingly close to reaching three figures. Hodge was desperately unlucky when a ball spun out of the rough, hit the right-hander's back leg and bounced onto the stumps.

Another uncapped player, Justin Greaves hit an unbeaten 41 to go with his first-innings 65, which helped West Indies to 315-5 declared in their second visit to the middle, and a sizeable lead of 392. However, they were unable to complete what would have been a confidence-boosting victory, as Cricket Australia held firm for the stalemate at 149-5.

Scores: West Indies 251 for 8 (Greaves 65, Hodge 52, Brathwaite 52) and 315 for 5 dec (Da Silva 105, Hodge 99) drew with Cricket Australia XI 174 (Ward 50) and 149 for 5 (Sinclair 3-38)

There do, however, remain some concerns for the Caribbean side, as Kirk McKenzie and Alick Athanaze, the men likely to bat numbers three and four, both failed again. McKenzie only mustered scores of 23 and nine, while Athanaze went without scoring in the first innings and posted only 15 in the second.

West Indies need more out of the pair in the upcoming two-Test series -which will be contested for the Frank Worrell Trophy as part of the ICC Test Championships -given they are likely to field debutants in Hodge and Greaves at numbers five and six.

The CA XI were able to hold on for 39 overs to draw the game. West Indies off-spinning all-rounder Kevin Sinclair, famous for his somersault celebrations after wickets, claimed three wickets for 38 runs. That will help his case for a Test call-up, as he battles with Greaves for a spot in the Kraigg Brathwaite-led side.

Still, with all of seven uncapped players in their 15-man squad, the possibility exists that Head coach Andre Coley will have to play at least three debutants against a formidable Australia outfit at Adelaide Oval

That lack of top-level experience highlights the predicament Test cricket finds itself in, with Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers the latest West Indies players to prioritise Twenty20 leagues over the five-day format.

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