Written by cricinfo Posted On: Saturday, 12 May 2012
The West Indians showed some much-needed resistance on the third morning in Northampton to frustrate England Lions' attempts to push for a three-day victory. Kieran Powell and Darren Bravo both reached fifties and took their fourth-wicket stand to 107 as the home side missed three chances of varying difficulty during the session.
There were low expectations for the visitors when they resumed on 28 for 3, still 166 behind, but the two batsmen provided a timely boost as they try to find their feet ahead of the Test series. It was Bravo's second half-century of the match after his first-innings 51 and for Powell a valuable opportunity to get used to conditions, as the West Indians whittled down the deficit to 61.
The Lions, though, had their opportunities to break through. When Powell had 17 he edged low to a wide third slip where Nick Compton put down a tough chance diving low to his right off Matt Coles. While that would have been a decent grab, the second spilled catch was far more regulation when Joe Root missed Bravo in the gully when he had 19 and he escaped again on 51 when Ian Bell could not grasp a low catch to his left at slip off Samit Patel.
However, between those two lives both batsmen played some pleasing shots especially through their favoured off side and Bravo went to his fifty with a lofted straight drive off Patel. Jade Dernbach, who did not bowl on the second evening after taking a blow on his right arm from Fidel Edwards while batting, operated with a bandage but could not force the breakthrough for the Lions.
Powell, the left-hander from Nevis, who has played six Tests, kept the slips interested but batsmen need luck when the ball dominates and he reached his fifty from 131 deliveries shortly before lunch on what had been an uplifting session for the visitors, although they remained a long way from saving the match.