Blackwood shows good form in drawn tour game
BENONI, South Africa (CMC):
Vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood capitalised on vital time in the middle following a first-innings failure as West Indies’ three-day tour match against a South Africa Invitational XI finished in a stalemate here yesterday.
The right-hander made only nine in the first innings but carved out 40 in the second at Willowmoore Park, helping to steer his side to 208 for eight.
Wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva, already with a half-century in the first innings, returned with a top score of 44 to cement his form while left-hander Kyle Mayers struck 38 and all-rounder Jason Holder, 32.
Behind on first innings by 34 runs after dismissing the hosts for 317 at the close on Wednesday’s second day, West Indies suffered a terrible start with a top-order collapse when Tagenarine Chanderpaul (13), Devon Thomas (3), and Raymon Reifer (1) all perished cheaply as seamer Thando Ntini (2-10) produced a devastating burst with the new ball.
Chanderpaul glanced a leg-side catch to the ’keeper in second over from Ntini, Thomas whipped a short ball from pacer Corbin Bosch to deep square, and Raymon Reifer tapped a half-hearted push back to Ntini.
Blackwood arrived to consolidate, first putting on 53 for the fourth wicket with Mayers before adding a further 62 for the fifth wicket with Da Silva, who counted five fours in a 62-ball knock.
The right-handed Blackwood faced 83 balls and struck seven fours while Mayers belted eight fours in a counter-attacking 25-ball innings before slashing at a wide delivery from pacer Codi Yusuf and edging to first slip.
Blackwood finally perished when he missed a booming drive and was leg before wicket to a full-length delivery, his dismissal leading to a slide where three wickets tumbled for 29 runs to leave the innings on 162 for seven.
However, Holder and Kemar Roach (29 not out) combined in a breezy 32-run, eighth-wicket stand to see West Indies safely to the end.
The Caribbean side take on South Africa in the opening Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion starting next Tuesday.