Batty gives England A the advantage
West Indies A 229 for 7 (Richards 51, Batty 4-62) trail England A 386 (Solanki 86, Read 78, Batty 75*, Kelly 4-70) by 157 runs
Gareth Batty captured four wickets after hitting a half-century to give England A the upper hand against West Indies A on the second day of their first unofficial Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground. Batty remained unbeaten on 75 in England A's first-innings total of 386 and then took 4 for 62 to reduce West Indies A to 229 for 7 by the close, still 157 behind.
Sylvester Joseph, the West Indies A captain who was leading a rearguard fightback, was unbeaten on 36 along with Dave Mohammed on 28. The duo have so far put on 40 for the eighth wicket. Joseph has batted patiently for 152 minutes while facing 107 balls and striking four fours, while Mohammed has so far faced 31 balls and struck two fours and a towering six over long-on off Alex Loudon.
Batty had resumed on 30 with the score on 304 for 8. He and Alex Wharf, unbeaten on nine at the start, shared in a ninth wicket stand of 89 to frustrate West Indies A for 75 minutes in the morning session. Wharf made 32 before he edged a drive to slip off left-arm spinner Mohammed, who ended with 4 for 109 from 30 overs as the ninth wicket fell at 356.
Sajid Mahmood was last out for ten when his on-drive was caught inches off the ground by a diving Dale Richards running in at mid-on off Narsingh Deonarine. Batty, who slapped Jermaine Lawson to the cover fence to bring up his 50, batted for 173 minutes, faced 112 balls and struck nine fours. Richard Kelly, who took four scalps on the first day, ended with 4 for 70 from 17 overs.
Batty then captured four wickets on the trot after West Indies A were seemingly coasting at 104 for 3 with Richards and Joseph at the crease. Richards, who had pulled Mahmood for a six over midwicket and hooked Kabir Ali for four to reach his half-century, was dismissed one run later when he edged a cut off Batty to wicket-keeper Chris Read.
Joseph and Deonarine then added 32 for the fifth wicket before Deonarine, who had lifted a full toss from Batty over midwicket for a six, needlessly lost his wicket. He padded up to a delivery from Batty and was adjudged lbw by Clancy Mack, who also ruled that Kelly (18) was caught at slip off Batty, to leave West Indies A on 189 for 7.
Kelly, who had swung Batty for a big six over midwicket, gestured to Mack that the ball had taken his pad before walking away. Carlton Baugh (4) skied an attempted slog-sweep to midwicket to give Batty his third wicket. West Indies A had lost four wickets for 85 runs. Earlier, two wickets in three balls by Mahmood rocked the top-order after Ali had made the initial breakthrough by removing Lendl Simmons (14) to a catch at the wicket at 42 for 1.
Mahmood, who has taken 2 for 30 from 13 overs, induced Sewnarine Chattergoon, who hit 45 from 104 balls with six fours, to chase a wide ball to third slip, to end a second-wicket stand of 59 with Richards. Marlon Samuels (0) only lasted two balls before Mahmood comprehensively beat his lazy attempt to cover his stumps, the ball taking an inside edge before knocking back his off and middle stumps.
England A lost the services of Wharf after 9.3 overs when he twisted his right ankle attempting to stop a back-drive from Joseph. His condition will be assessed overnight.