Windies recover after strong Foxes start

Leicestershire versus West Indies, Tourist Match, Day 1:

SCORECARD | Available through ESPN Cricinfo HERE

REPORT | by Harry Josephs

Leicestershire’s young attack reduced a strong Windies side to 64 for 5 before the tourists recovered to post 377 for 7 declared in conditions that favoured batting.

The fightback was led by opener Kieran Powell (82), wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich (108 not out) and batsman Shimron Hetmyer (128 not out), who came in at number nine as the tourists were granted permission to utilise their 15-man squad over the course of the game.

Dieter Klein (3 for 77) was the most successful bowler while Gavin Griffiths, Zak Chappell and Richard Jones also enjoyed success in the first session.

Leicestershire handed debuts to Academy graduates Sam Evans and Harry Swindells. The duo were two of six members of the starting XI to have come through the Academy along with Aadil Ali, Tom Wells, Chappell and Rob Sayer.

West Indies utilised the top eight that played in their thrilling test match win against England at Headingley before Hetmyer, who normally bats at number three, joined forces with Dowrich.

Jason Holder won the toss and unsurprisingly opted to bat first on a glorious morning at the Fischer County Ground.

Leicestershire made an early breakthrough with Klein trapping Kraigg Brathwaite, who scored a century in the second Test Match against England, lbw for 2. One run later Klein’s opening bowling partner Chappell struck, removing Kyle Hope for 1, also leg before wicket with a quick delivery.

West Indies second test hero Shai Hope steadied the ship alongside opener Powell. Shai Hope looked to be more aggressive, driving impressively down the ground and through the covers.

However, his innings was bought to an end by Jones, who was bowling with impressive control. The seamer bowled Shai Hope (28) with a beauty that hit off stump. Jones bowled a four over spell before lunch with figures of 4-2-10-1.

Roston Chase came to the crease and hung about before being pinned lbw by Griffiths for 3. In the same over Griffiths dismissed Jermaine Blackwood without scoring, caught by Sayer at cover.

The Leicestershire attack bowled superbly in the first session and not one bowler went at more than 3.5 runs an over. West Indies went into lunch with the score at 79 for 5 from 28 overs.

Powell went through to 50 from 96 balls; his fifty came from a hook shot off Chappell which went flying into a window in the Meet.

Windies gradually rebuilt their innings with Powell and Dowrich digging in. Whilst Powell scored the majority of the runs, Dowrich was frustrating County with several shots going through the slip cordon.

The pair bought up their 100 run partnership in the 48th over of the innings with Dowrich taking over from Powell as the aggressor, hitting a Sayer for a pair of boundaries. Dowrich bought up his 50 from 81 balls (9x4) in the 50th over.

Powell’s innings came to an end when he was nicely caught down the leg-side by a diving Swindells off the bowling of Klein. It was a superb first Leicestershire catch for Swindells and one he won’t forget for a long time. This also ended the fine partnership between Powell and Dowrich at 117.

West Indies captain Holder (4) was quickly dismissed by Klein being clean bowled. That wicket took us to tea with West Indies 191-7. Having initially found less assistance with the ball, the Foxes bowlers stuck to their task well and Klein was rewarded with those two strikes late in the session.

But the final session of play belonged firmly to the West Indies as Dowrich and Hetmyer recorded centuries.

Hetmyer immediately put pressure on the Leicestershire bowlers. Any width offered was hit through the covers emphatically. At one point Hetmyer had 31 runs from 28 balls including seven boundaries. He went through to 50 from 49 balls with a straight six.

Dowrich and Hetmyer reached a 100-run partnership inside 20 overs of batting together. Hetmyer overtook Dowrich in the 77th over hitting back-to-back sixes off Aadil. County took the new ball immediately. Hetmyer went through to his century from 100 balls including 12 boundaries and five maximums.

Dowrich then reached the landmark himself, his ton coming from 169 balls and was a really gritty knock for his side. Coming in at 64-5 Dowrich had big partnerships firstly with Powell and then with Hetmyer, with whom he shared an unbroken 184 for the eighth wicket. West Indies declared after 88 overs which ended play for the day.

TEAM | Dearden, Evans, Eckersley (capt), Aadil, Wells, Chappell, Swindells (wk), Sayer, Klein, Griffiths, Jones.

Bowling figures for Leicestershire: Chappell 19-2-75-1, Klein 19-4-77-3, Jones 12-3-50-1, Griffiths 18-1-70-2, Sayer 11-1-53-0, Wells 8-0-24-0, Aadil 1-0-17-0.