London: West Indies were facing defeat against England Lions after conceding a 194-run first innings deficit after two days of the four-day game in Northampton. The tourists closed on 28 for 3, still 166 behind, and are struggling for form just a week away from the first Test at Lord's. Lions captain James Taylor made 118 and shared a century stand for the sixth wicket with Jonny Bairstow (50) and was then last out after adding another 130 with the last three batsmen - including 64 alongside number 11 Jade Dernbach.
The West Indies, who had been bowled out for 147 in their first innings, had their chances especially with the Lions on 98 for five at one stage and then 211 for seven, but they were unable to hammer home their superiority. That left England Lions to reach an imposing 341. West Indies seamer Ravi Rampaul was the pick of the tourists' bowlers with three wickets for 79 runs from 24 overs.
"I thought it was a big improvement from Thursday," said Rampaul."I thought I bowled too short [the previous day], and after speaking with the coach and some of my team-mates, I recognised that I had to bowl a fuller length in these conditions." West Indies' first tour match against Sussex ended last Monday at Hove in a no-result, due to rain allowing just 34 overs, and Rampaul said the weather could play a big role in the upcoming series. "It is totally different from bowling in the Caribbean," he said. "It is cold, so it becomes a mental thing, but you just have to block it out and continue doing what you are doing."