London: West Indies collapsed to 147 all out against the England Lions on Thursday in what the tourists will hope isn't a taste of things to come during next week's first Test against England at Lord's.
, in what was West Indies first full innings on tour as a mere 34 overs were possible in last week's rain-marred match against Sussex, prevented an even greater collapse at Northampton. As it was Northamptonshire's Jack Brooks, a self-confessed "glorified club cricketer" made use of the damp seam and swing-friendly conditions to take 3 for 23 on his home ground, with Surrey's Stuart Meaker taking 3 for 42 including a spell of three wickets in 15 balls.
For Brooks it was just the latest chapter in a remarkable tale that only a few years ago still saw him playing village cricket. "I played village cricket till I was 20 or 21," he said. "I just wasn't very good when I was younger. I'm still a glorified club cricketer now. But I've worked really hard on my game and my fitness over the years - with a few gentle pushes along the way from coaches over the years, who've told me to start believing in my ability."
There was surprise even before the four-day match began when West Indies captain Darren Sammy was rested by the tourists. James Taylor, skipper of the second-string Lions, won the toss from Windies vice-captain Kirk Edwards and had no hesitation in asking the tourists to bat in their final match before next week's first of a three-Test series. Opener Adrian Barath and Edwards, out for nought, both fell cheaply to the 27-year-old Brooks, who only made his first-class debut three years ago, and even star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul (6) fell cheaply when he miscued a hook off change seamer Matt Coles and was caught on the leg-side.
Bravo played some typically stylish shots as he strove to turn the tide but no sooner had he completed an 86-ball fifty featuring nine fours then he pulled Meaker to mid-on. Marlon Samuels, whose 32 was the only other West Indies score of note, followed soon afterwards when he was caught behind off Meaker. There was still time before stumps for Lions opener Joe Root to be lbw to one that kept low from fast bowler Fidel Edwards.
But Michael Carberry (15 not out) and the in-form Nick Compton (18 not out) saw the Lions to 40 for one at stumps.