Victoria XI 3 for 169 (Hancock 80*) drew with West Indians 8 for 303 (Brathwaite 78, Blackwood 69, Hart 4-93)
After their heavy loss in the first Test in Hobart, West Indies needed to go back to basics in their two-day match against a second-string Victoria XI this weekend. So a rookie fielding error from Jerome Taylor will not have pleased the captain and coach as the game cruised to a predictable draw, with local opening batsman Jake Hancock finishing unbeaten on 80 when rain arrived.
Hancock was on 22, in the 14th over of the Victoria innings, when he hooked captain Jason Holder towards Taylor at fine leg. However, Taylor had his back to play and was looking into the grandstands while the ball flew his way. Only after his team-mates called out to him did Taylor turn around, but by then it was too late to get into position for the catch, or even stop the boundary.
West Indies coach Phil Simmons said after the match that he had not seen the incident himself but he conceded that it was not a good look for a team aiming to lift their morale ahead of Boxing Day. "It can't be a good look," Simmons said. "It's a team trying to gain that sort of respect. Things like that, we have to make sure we cut them out."
It was hardly the kind of attitude West Indies needed after their embarrassing performance in Hobart, where Taylor had leaked 108 runs for no wickets from his 17 overs. In Geelong, he was tighter and bowled nine overs for 14 runs, but West Indies managed just three wickets in 58 overs against a Victoria XI boasting only two players with first-class experience.
One of those men, opener Travis Dean, was caught for 3 when he fended Kemar Roach to point, and at 1 for 13 in the fourth over it was a good start for West Indies. However, Hancock and Tom Donnell put on 73 for the second wicket as West Indies struggled in the field, also missing a run-out chance when Hancock was on 36, and it was not until Devendra Bishoo bowled Donnell for 34 that the stand was broken.
Bishoo finished with 2 for 60 after he also had the Victoria captain Ian Holland stumped for 29 by Shai Hope, with regular gloveman Denesh Ramdin having been rested on Sunday. The Victorians moved along to 3 for 169 when the rain arrived, with Hancock on 80 and Aaron Ayre on 17.