West Indies captain Jason Holder’s struggles continue as second intra-squad game starts

West Indies captain Jason Holder’s difficult build-up to the #raisethebat Test series against England continued as he was dismissed for five when the tourists’ second and final intra-squad match finally got underway at Emirates Old Trafford.

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Holder has been recently troubled by an ankle niggle and while the Windies have played down concerns about whether he is still hampered by the injury, he is running out of chances to get some match sharpness under his belt.

Holder was out for a golden duck and did not bowl in the Windies’ first internal match that ended in a draw last week, and he looked ill-at-ease during his 13-ball stay in the middle on Tuesday.

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In truth, Holder could have departed for a second successive nought as he clipped his second ball to midwicket, only for Preston McSween to spill a relatively straightforward chance.

Jermaine Blackwood, aiming for a Test recall nearly three years on from his last appearance, was also out for a single-figure score after intermittent rain, which had wiped out the first four sessions of this four-day fixture, relented to allow play to start at 2.20pm under floodlights.

The wickets of Blackwood and Holder were part of a top-order wobble that saw Holder’s side lurch from 79-1 to 108-5 against a Kraigg Brathwaite-led XI, before ending the day 120-5 when bad light intervened.

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Proceedings began with Oshane Thomas, drafted in to open the bowling, making an immediate impression as a precision yorker castled Sheyne Moseley first ball.

Joshua Da Silva and Sunil Ambris recovered, quickly scoring along at five an over in a 79-run stand, which was ended when Ambris, on 25, top-edged Chemar Holder (2-15) to short-leg.

Blackwood then made just one off six balls before Marquino Mindley found the outside edge and John Campbell took a simple chance at second slip.

Campbell had no problem also snaffling Nkrumah Bonner, who failed to trouble the scorers after an attempted drive off Chemar Holder caught the edge.

Holder was next to go, with Anderson Phillip (1-9) putting the ball on a good length and the skipper tentatively prodding an edge through to a wide third slip.

Da Silva was measured amid the cluster of wickets and, although he is listed in the West Indies’ 11 reserves, the opener was still there at the close on 60 not out when the players came off 45 minutes into the final session.

West Indies will play England at The Ageas Bowl from July 8, before the behind-closed-doors three-Test series moves to Emirates Old Trafford for the final two games, from July 16 and July 24 respectively.

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