England (379/10) vs West Indies President’s XI
Keaton Jennings failed for a second time on England’s tour of the West Indies as they scored 379 for 10 against a President’s XI. England have only one weakness of note, the unproven partnership of their opening pair. Yet it took only one weakness to halt Achilles.
Jennings was leg-before playing half-forward for seven to the left-arm pace of Raymon Reifer. It is not a form of attack which will feature in the West Indies bowling line-up in the first Test on Wednesday, but propping half-forward seems an integral part of Jennings’s method: given a bigger stride, the umpire might have reprieved him for getting his front pad outside the line.
It is not as if England have a plausible Plan B if another partner is required for Rory Burns, who did not convert his start into a first hundred for England, but otherwise batted satisfactorily for 68, before being stumped. Joe Denly’s first innings in the West Indies, like his two in the warm-ups in Sri Lanka, suggested he is too loose in shot-selection to be a Test opener.
Denly’s innings of 12 was the sketchiest of the day, not hit-and-miss, but miss-and-hit. He went for a big cover-drive to his first ball – when Miguel Cummins was putting in a decent spell – then cover-drove the second, which was a half-volley, for four. Denly aimed three more cover-drives off successive balls from Reifer, nailing the second, missing the first and third. He thought of hitting his first ball after tea through point and dragged on.