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Cricket | International

Rain frustrates Windies again



West Indies' attempts to get in some meaningful practice ahead of the first test against England in a fortnight were again dashed by rain as their tour opener against Sussex ended in a draw.

Bad weather meant a three-day match at the south coast county's Hove headquarters produced just 34 overs in total, with the West Indies closing on 90 for three.

The biggest plus point for the tourists was that the 11 players who are currently with the squad in England – the West Indies are waiting on Assad Fudadin and Narsingh Deonarine, delayed because of visas problems in Jamaica, as well as Marlon Samuels, following his Indian Premier League spell – appeared to come through the match unscathed.

However, there was a worrying moment when star batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul required treatment for a hand injury.

It was a concerning sight for the tourists following fast bowler Fidel Edwards' back "niggle" but a team spokesman insisted all the veteran left-hander, nine out at stumps, had suffered was a "slight bruise".

The tourists will certainly hope it's no worse than that with just a four-day game against the England Lions, the national second string side, at Northampton starting on Thursday to come before the first test at Lord's gets underway on May 17.

Darren Bravo, 19 not out at stumps, said the squad were annoyed at spending so much time cooped up in the pavilion.

"It's a little bit frustrating," he said. "The guys really wanted to get out there and get as much match practice as possible, with a test match starting in a few days.

"But we can't do anything about it."

Trinidad and Tobago left-hander Bravo, who unfurled some typical cover-drives during a watchful 60-ball innings, said: "You have to know your game, and strengths and weaknesses," he said.

"The ball was there to hit. But at the same time, it's very important to make sure you spend some time in the middle."

Now he is looking forward to playing a test at Lord's, the self-styled 'home of cricket'.

"It's going to be a great feeling to go out there and play a test match at Lord's," he said.

"It's the home of cricket, so playing there is something special.

"I'm really looking forward to it. My dad will be there as well, so it's going to be a special occasion."

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