Mindley pleased with bowling effort in opening warm-up game

Senior staff reporter

Saturday, June 27, 2020

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JAMAICAN pacer Marquino Mindley says he is pleased with his performance during the West Indies intra-squad warm-up match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England.

Mindley, who bowled the new ball for Kraigg Brathwaite's XI, had figures of 3-27 and 0-9 against Jason Holder's XI during the three-day encounter which ended in a draw on Thursday.

“I'm satisfied with the outcome, getting the ball to do whatever I wanted it to do. I got outswing and the surprise ball [was the] inswinger. And I challenged both edges, the inside edge and the outside edge,” the 25-year-old bowler told the Jamaica Observer.

“The execution was there — it was a wicket that you can't really pound the ball into it because it would stand up [and be easy to hit], so you have to just kiss the ball off the surface. You have to put the ball right in front of the batsman and eventually things will happen from there,” he explained.

Mindley is among 11 reserves in a wider squad of 25 players who have been in England since June 9 preparing for next month's three-Test series against the hosts.

The larger-than-usual squad allows for internal contests since the customary practice games against county teams are prohibited on this tour due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Left-arm pacer Raymond Reifer, also playing for Brathwaite's XI, grabbed the major bowling headlines with 5-60 and 1-9.

For Holder's XI, fast bowler Alzarri Joseph took 4-60 and 2-17 while fellow speedster Shannon Gabriel captured 3-32 and 1-48.

The batsmen also got useful practice as Brathwaite's XI posted 275 and 231-4 declared against Holder's XI's 193 and 149-3.

Opening batsman Brathwaite, who has endured a lean patch in Test cricket over the last two years, scored 84 and 34. In the first innings he shared in a 103-run, third-wicket stand with Shai Hope, who made 83. In their second innings, Shamarh Brooks and Shane Dowrich, with respective unbeaten knocks of 66 and 56, and John Campbell (49) were also among the runs.

In Holder's XI first innings, Sunil Ambris top-scored with 52. Left-hander Shane Moseley, with 83 not out, and Nkrumah Bonner, unbeaten on 24, were the main contributors in the second innings.

Though bowling only seven overs and a ball in the first innings and three overs in the second, Mindley was grateful for some action after the virus — which causes the COVID-19 disease — halted any kind of competitive cricket since mid-March.

“The game was good for me because I haven't played cricket in months and got the chance to play a three-day match this week; it was a good feeling out there,” he said.

The visitors are slated to stage another squad match, a four-day contest, starting Monday at the same venue.

Mindley told the Observer he is hopeful that with minor tweaks to his delivery stride he will be even more effective in that encounter.

“There were times when I slacked off rather than push towards the target. So what the coach and I have been working on is to push toward the target more so I can get more pace on the ball,” he explained.

The West Indies tour to England was originally set to run from May to June but was postponed due to the global spread of COVID-19.

The three Test matches are to be played behind closed doors in biosecure facilities, to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus which has taken over 43,000 lives in the United Kingdom and approximately 491,000 globally.

The first Test at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton is set to begin July 8. The teams are to contest the second and third matches at Old Trafford, starting July 16 and 24, respectively. Both venues have hotels on site.

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