CRICKET TOUR LEAD Thomas signals selectors with lively fifty

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CANBERRA, Australia, November 18, Devon Thomas made a case for his long-awaited Test debut with a cracking unbeaten half-century for West Indies on day two of their three-day tour game against the Combined NSW/ACT XI here Friday.

The right-hander, who celebrated his 33rd birthday last weekend, struck a breezy 77 not out from 79 deliveries as the Caribbean side enjoyed a decent run out to reach 424 for nine declared in their first innings at Phillip Oval.

In reply, the Combined NSW/ACT XI stormed to the close on 259 for two, Oliver Davies top-scoring 115, captain Blake Macdonald getting 76, and Jack Attenborough chipping in with 51.

They enter the final day of the encounter trailing by 165 runs.

Resuming from their overnight 297 for five, West Indies allowed both Jason Holder (50) and Jermaine Blackwood (42) to retire at the start, but wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva (3) and Roston Chase (12) both perished cheaply, leaving the innings on 320 for nine.

However, Thomas produced a thrilling knock, punching seven fours and two sixes in a 104-run, last-wicket stand with fast bowler Alzarri Joseph who hit two fours and a six in an unbeaten 33.

Mcdonald, a 24-year-old right-hander with no first-class experience, then handed the hosts the ideal start, counting nine fours and a six in a 158-ball knock.

He put on 85 for the first wicket with Attenborough, who hit seven fours off 88 balls before adding a further 169 for the second wicket with Davies.

All told, Davies, a 22-year-old right-hander who is yet to feature in a first-class match, slammed 14 fours and two sixes in a hasty 106-ball inning.

West Indies assembled Down Under earlier this month and are preparing for the first Test in Perth starting November 30.

They will face the Australian Prime Minister’s XI in a four-day, day/night contest at Manuka Oval starting next Wednesday in their final warm-up game ahead of the two-Test series, which ends in Adelaide.

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