DERBY – Middle-order batsman Kyle Hope gave the West Indies a boost ahead of next week’s first Test at Edgbaston when he scored the first century of the tour in the day/night game against Derbyshire at Derby today.
Hope made an accomplished 105 while his brother Shai Hope, Kieran Powell and Roston Chase all passed fifty under the County Ground floodlights against the pink ball. The first Test is a Day/Night match where the pink ball will also be used.
Although Derbyshire fielded a weakened side, Hope and Powell, who made 92, impressed before Shai Hope with an unbeaten 69 and Chase with 62 not out shared an unbroken stand of 109 in 28 overs to take the tourists to 340 for 3 at stumps after a delay for rain.
The game was played in chilly overcast conditions from the start but the performance of the Hopes, Powell and Chase made it a good day for the tourists after skipper Jason Holder won the toss and elected to bat.
Derbyshire rested the players who will figure in next week’s T20 games so it was an inexperienced side that Tony Palladino led out with three making their first-class debuts.
One of them was 16-year-old seamer James Taylor who, along with older brother Tom, became the first brothers to play in the same match for the county since 1939.
The conditions suggested batting could be awkward against the pink ball although it was a loose shot that accounted for Kraigg Brathwaite who was lbw playing across the line at Tom Millns in the fourth over.
But that was Derbyshire’s last success of the first session as Powell and Kyle Hope enjoyed valuable time in the middle in conditions similar to the ones they will encounter in Birmingham next week, although the bowling will be considerably more testing.
Powell drove fluently through mid-off as he completed a fifty which included nine fours from 47 balls and it was a surprise when he played over a full-length delivery from Palladino eight short of a century.
Hope grew in authority and there were 15 fours in his hundred which came from 162 balls but he was beaten in the penultimate over before tea when 19-year-old left-arm spinner Matt Sonczak found some turn to hit his off stump and claim his maiden first-class wicket.
The stand with his brother was worth 72 in 25 overs and Shai and Chase added another 62 in the increasingly bleak conditions until heavy drizzle forced the players off the pitch at 8p.m.
The umpires decided play could resume 40 minutes later which allowed Chase to complete his third 50 in as many innings from 55 balls when he straight drove Greg Cork for his eighth four.