West Indies A survived a scare on the final morning to secure a nervy two-wicket over England Lions in the first unofficial Test in Jamaica, with Rahkeem Cornwall adding to his eight wickets in the match by hitting the winning runs. Jomel Warrican also collected an eight-wicket haul and played a significant role with the bat alongside first-innings centurion Shane Dowrich, as the Lions let slip a potentially decisive lead.
Resuming on 31 for 1 chasing a target of 106, West Indies A progressed to 80 for 3 before a collapse against spin threatened to let the Lions back in. Jack Leach claimed a five-for, and Liam Livingstone and Mason Crane were also among the wickets as the hosts lost 5 for 18, before the sturdy figure of Cornwall calmly saw them over the line.
Having been put in to bat, the Lions made 252 with half-centuries from Nick Gubbins and Paul Coughlin. West Indies A were then in significant trouble at 114 for 8 in reply, but wicketkeeper Dowrich brought his Test experience to bear during a five-and-a-half hour 119. Warrican was a more-than-adequate ally, scoring 71 during a 161-run ninth-wicket partnership that lifted West Indies A into a 27-run lead.
The significance of that partnership became clearer as the Lions suffered a collapse of their own. Haseeb Hameed top-scored with 39 but the tourists slipped from 60 for 1 and 118 for 4 to 132 all out as Warrican, who played the last of his four Tests in 2016, finished with second-innings figures of 7 for 33.
Both sides featured a number of Test players. Keaton Jennings, who made 49 in the first innings, captained a Lions side featuring Hameed, Toby Roland-Jones and Mason Crane, the legspinner capped in England’s final Ashes Test at the SCG. West Indies A were led by Kieran Powell, alongside Jermaine Blackwood, Vishaul Singh, Raymon Reifer and Warrican in the first of three first-class matches.
There was some further news out the Lions camp, with call-ups for Roland-Jones and Matt Critchley to the squad for the one-day games against West Indies A next month. Roland-Jones will cover for Tom Helm, who has suffered a hamstring injury, while leg spinner Critchley replaces Dawson after he was signed for the Pakistan Super League. Two players have also been added to the North-South series: Gloucestershire’s Liam Norwell and Middlesex quick Tom Barber join the South squad after Helm and George Garton were forced to withdraw.
Summarized scores: West Indies A 279 (Dowrich 119, Warrican 71*, Leach 3-84) and 108 for 8 (Leach 5-26) beat England Lions 252 (Coughlin 60, Gubbins 50, Cornwall 5-68) and 132 (Warrican 7-33) by two wickets