MCC v West Indians, Racecourse Ground, 1st day June 1, 2007

Taylor takes five but MCC fight hard

Cricinfo staff

MCC 234 for 7 (Evans 51, Taylor 5-43) v West Indians

Jerome Taylor bagged a five-wicket haul but West Indies were forced to labour on the opening day of their match against an MCC side consisting largely of university players. To add to their problems they were handed two more injury concerns in the build-up to the third Test at Old Trafford.

Chris Gayle went off the field shortly after lunch, midway through his fourth over, with minor tear to his a left rib muscle and seamer Ravi Rampaul was sent to hospital for scans on a groin strain after bowling three overs. Rampaul has been ruled out of the Old Trafford Test while Gayle won't field for the rest of this match although he may bat.

In their absence Daren Ganga, now leading the tour in place of Ramnaresh Sarwan, used eight bowlers but still couldn't dismiss MCC. Fidel Edwards, trying to bowl himself into contention for the third Test, took the first wicket when he had Paul Dixey caught in the slips, but didn't get his name on the scorecard again in 16 overs.

However, Taylor's confidence will have taken a boost following two tough Tests. He struck twice before lunch to bowl Zoheb Sharif and trapped William Porterfield, the Ireland opener, with a full inswinger. He returned during the afternoon to snap up the middle order, including Sanath Jayasuriya who flashed an edge to slip after an aggressive 18.

"After having some dull moments since I came to England I think today worked out well for me and I am trying to move from strength to strength," said Taylor. "I felt good bowling out there. My rhythm was good and everything fell into place and I decided to let the ball go and let the ball do the work. "

But MCC battled hard led by a half-century from Laurie Evans, before he edged behind to hand Taylor his fifth wicket. Shaaiq Choudhry, a 21-year-old allrounder, proved another stumbling block for the tourists as he resisted for more than two hours, adding 46 with Mali Richards, Viv's son, during the evening session.