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Gabriel bolsters West Indies Test claim

Watch England’s three-Test series at home to West Indies live in full on Sky Sports from July 8

By PA Sport

Last Updated: 01/07/20 8:35pm

Shannon Gabriel celebrates picking up the wicket of John Campbell  on day three at Emirates Old Trafford

Shannon Gabriel celebrates picking up the wicket of John Campbell  on day three at Emirates Old Trafford

Shannon Gabriel celebrates picking up the wicket of John Campbell on day three at Emirates Old Trafford

Jason Holder took a wicket in his first over of the England tour while Shannon Gabriel claimed 3-34 on the penultimate day of the West Indies’ final intra-squad match before next week’s first Test.

After Joshua Da Silva struck a fine 133 not out for Holder’s XI, the first-string batsmen and bowlers went toe-to-toe in an entertaining final session and it was the pacemen who emphatically came out on top at Emirates Old Trafford with Kraigg Brathwaite’s XI closing on 112-7 in reply to 272 all out.

Gabriel, not officially in the 14-man Test squad but likely to be drafted in from the reserves list after this four-day fixture ends, prised out John Campbell and Shai Hope as the Brathwaite XI slipped to 9-3.

Holder did not bowl in the first internal warm-up last week amid doubts over an ankle niggle but the captain showed little discomfort as he sent down five overs on Wednesday, snaring Shamarh Brooks with his sixth delivery.

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Da Silva’s composed century spread across two days and may yet lead to a rethink about the current batting order.

The wicketkeeper grew in stature with some eye-catching drives and weathered a hostile barrage from Oshane Thomas on Wednesday afternoon.

He resumed on 60 not out – exactly half of his side’s overnight 120-5 – but faced only two balls before rain led to a 90-minute delay.

Da Silva needed treatment after being struck on the bottom hand on 75 but soldiered on and his 15th four took him to his century, which he celebrated with a fist pump and a scream of ‘Yes’.

Alzarri Joseph injected some impetus into the innings with some lusty blows in a dashing 38 from 32 balls, part of a 77-run stand that took the side past 250 before he and the tail were cleaned up in short order.

Gabriel then made inroads into the Brathwaite XI and Holder made a near-instant impact when he came on to bowl as Brooks got a leading edge to mid-off to depart for 16.

The series will be named #raisethebat in tribute to those on the frontline who have helped during the coronavirus pandemic, with England to wear the names of key workers on their training tops ahead of day one of the first Test in Southampton.

Watch England’s three-Test series at home to West Indies live in full on Sky Sports from July 8.

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