Monday 11 March 2013 

Bears in Barbados - Keith Cook's First Report


Bears Cricket Operations Manager Keith Cook, gives his first report of the pre-season tour of Barbados.

After four energetic and productive days of outdoor practice, nets and fielding skills the Bears arrived at their opening competitive match of the 13-day tour to Barbados on Sunday against a Barbados XI at Windward Cricket Club.

Windward had become our home since arrival, and over the previous two years the club and its staff had provided us with amazing support and co-operation to provide the best possible levels of preparation.

Since arriving on Tuesday 5th March the players and management had been working hard with light training sessions ramped up to become more and more physically demanding each day in preparation for the rigours of game day.

Captain, Jim Troughton correctly called heads at the toss and chose to bowl first on a newly prepared pitch under bright blue skies.

The Barbados XI are coached by former Warwickshire overseas bowler Vasbert Drakes, who enjoyed meeting up with some of his former team mates in the Bears squad.

The opening batsmen started well in the opening few overs  as Justin Brathwaite and Renaldo Parris put together a promising partnership before Brathwaite (32)was caught by Steff Piolet off Rikki Clarke in the first over of his spell, after Keith Barker and Oliver Hannon-Dalby had opened the bowling for the Bears.

Parris went just a few overs later for 12 caught by academy keeper Pete McKay, who picked up his first catch on tour off the bowling of Tom Milnes.

At 77 for 3 the home side put together a handy couple of partnerships to take them to 116 for 5.Paul Best as the leading wicket taker for Warwickshire with figures of 8-0-25-3 as the Barbados XI innings closed on 163 for 9.

Newly signed Oliver Hannon-Dalby opened his account for the Bears with 2 wickets for 29 including whilst Keith Barker recorded 7-0-42-0, Rikki Clarke 5-0-16-1, Tom Milnes 7-1-25-1 and Ateeq Javid  6-0-25-1.

After the interval Warwickshire’s opening partnership of Darren Maddy and Ian Westwood got off to a bad start with Maddy caught in the slips without scoring in the second over. 

Captain Jim Troughton was the next man in and immediately stamped his authority on the game as he smashed 10 fours and a six in his total of 67, and featured in a 118 run partnership with Ian Westwood before retiring himself not out. 

Westwood fell just of his half century when he has despatched by Ryan Hinds lbw for 46 with the total on 120 for 2.

Laurie Evans and Steffan Piolet saw off the task of scoring the remaining 44 runs without too much trouble with Piolet 30 not out and Evans 23 not out to see the Bears home 8 wickets with 5 overs to spare.

After the opening win the Bears now have two days rest and preparation before our opening game against 1st class opposition, as Hampshire travel to Windward cricket club for a two day game, which begins on Wednesday.

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