Hodge (112) leads purposeful batting in England tour match

First-Class Counties Select XI 15 for 0 trail West Indies 339 (Hodge 112, Athanaze 74, McKenzie 73, Louis 50, Ahmed 4-48, Turner 4-60) by 324 runs

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West Indies began their tour of England with a resolute batting performance in their warm-up match against a First-Class Counties XI at Beckenham, finishing the opening day on a high note.

Led by Kavem Hodge’s commanding century, they posted a formidable total of 339 in their first innings.

Opting to bat first after winning the toss, the visitors faced early adversity.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Zachary McCaskie departing cheaply left them struggling at 10 for two.

However, debutant Mikyle Louis and Kirk McKenzie steered the innings back on track with a crucial 106-run partnership for the third wicket.

Louis impressed with a composed half-century, scoring 50 before he was dismissed.

McKenzie continued to build on Louis’s foundation, playing fluently to score 73 valuable runs. His partnership with Hodge, who anchored the innings superbly, proved pivotal as they added 138 runs together.

Hodge, displaying patience and aggression, reached his century with a confident six off Farhan Ahmed, setting a solid platform for his team.

Following a rain interruption, the West Indies’ middle and lower order faced a testing period, quickly losing wickets.

Despite the lower-order collapse, Hodge stood tall, guiding his team past the 300-run mark.

His innings finally ended when he was dismissed for a well-made 112, the last wicket to fall as the West Indies were bowled out for 339 from 72.1 overs.

John Turner was the pick of the bowlers for FCC XI, claiming four wickets for 60 runs, while Ahmed also made significant contributions, with his four-wicket haul costing 48 runs.

The day’s play showcased the West Indies’ resilience and depth in their batting lineup, with partnerships crucial in steering them towards a competitive total.

As they prepare for the upcoming series against England, this performance will boost their confidence and provide valuable insights into the conditions and opposition.

At stumps, FCC XI were 15-0. Ben McKinney is 11, not out, and with him is Harry Singh. (SportsMax) 

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