Sarwan lays down marker for Windies

The West Indies drew their three-day match with the State Auckland Aces today as a number of their batsmen got a useful tune-up ahead of the first cricket test against the BLACKCAPS beginning on Thursday in Dunedin.

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Middle order stalwart Ramnaresh Sarwan retired on 158 and opener Sewnarine Chattergooon scored a painstaking 93 off 247 balls as the West Indies chased a formidable target of 587 for seven declared on the final day of the match on Eden Park's outer oval.

At the close, the West Indies were 431 for seven after resuming on their overnight total of 82 for no wicket.

Opener Xavier Marshall was the only wicket to fall in the first session, bowled by left-arm paceman Michael Bates for 47 after adding two runs to his overnight total.

Marshall's departure brought about a slowdown in the scoring rate as the tourists inched along at a little more than two runs an over as they appeared content to occupy the crease.

Chattergoon, 31 overnight, was particularly cautious with his half-century coming off 167 balls as the tourists added 62 runs in the 29 overs sent down in the session.

Sarwan, 19 not out at lunch, upped the ante after the resumption to be unbeaten on 105 when the tea break arrived and continued to pick up the pace in the final session, belting two sixes. His knock included 23 boundaries.

Sarwan and Chattergoon put on 116 for the second wicket before the opener was removed by spinner Tarun Nethula in the second session after five hours at the crease.

The other batsman to depart in the session was Leon Johnson who was trapped leg before wicket by Kyle Mills for five with the score on 248.

Lance Shaw was the best of the Auckland bowlers, taking two for 44, including the wicket of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 22.

Mills, one for 58, Bates one for 74 and Nethula, one for 158, were the other wicket takers for Auckland.

NZPA

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