Carib Beer XI v England XI, 3Ws Oval March 26, 2004

A Beer match with a difference

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Carib Beer XI won the toss and chose to bat

Marcus Trescothick relaxes in the surf ahead of today's match against a Carib Beer XI © Getty Images
England can expect a tough contest in their three-day warm-up match against a Carib Beer XI, which started at the 3Ws Oval in Bridgetown today.

For the West Indies players, there may well be places up for grabs after the dismal performances in the first two Tests, and even though there are no first-string Barbados or Jamiaca players - the Carib Beer final is taking place elsewhere on the island - it should not be an easy ride for England.

England have aimed to give those not in the Test side a chance to stretch their legs, which means that James Anderson, Gareth Batty, Rikki Clarke and Geraint Jones, the reserve wicketkeeper, are all playing - with Chris Read taking part as a specialist batsman, given his lack of runs in the Tests.

And Marcus Trescothick has declined the chance to put his feet up, preferring to try and find his touch - in seven innings so far on the tour he has scored 46 runs. "It is a bizarre experience for me," he admitted. "I'm struggling to find a reason because my preparation has been good, I've been hitting it. I feel like I have not had the opportunity to see if I'm in form or not. In the past there may have been times when I've been a bit tired but this has been really strange for me. It's a different sort of feeling altogether."

Daren Ganga, who has so far been overlooked, will lead a Carib Beer XI which includes some quick bowlers with a point to prove. Ravi Rampaul, who played in the recent Under-19 World Cup final, as well as Jermaine Lawson and Dwight Washington all play, and allrounder Omari Banks returns from injury.

Carib Beer XI 1 Daren Ganga (capt), 2 Xavier Marshall, 3 Dwayne Bravo, 4 Sylvester Joseph, 5 Tonito Willett, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Omari Banks, 8 Ravi Rampaul, 9 Dwight Washington, 10 Jermaine Lawson, 11 Fernix Thomas.

England 1 Marcus Trescothick (capt), 2 Paul Collingwood, 3 Mark Butcher, 4 Rikki Clarke, 5 Graham Thorpe, 6 Chris Read, 7 Geraint Jones (wk), 8 Ashley Giles, 9 Gareth Batty, 10 James Anderson, 11 Matthew Hoggard.