Gayle may not make it back

The West Indies held on for a draw against Queensland on the final day of their four day practice match in Brisbane.

Brendan Nash 36 and stand in captain Denish Ramdin 20 were the batsmen at the crease when play was called off an hour early with the West Indies on 357 for 6 in their second innings.

Earlier Shivnarine Chanderpaul 69 and Ramnaresh Sarwan 66 shared in a crucial 131 run fourth wicket partnership after the West Indies had resumed on 220 for 4, still trailing by 126 runs.

Nash says he is hoping his local knowledge of the Gabba will benefit the West Indies when the first test against Australia gets underway on Thursday.

In the meantime, Queensland batsman Nick Kruger who hit a maiden first class century of 147 in the match says he expects a different West Indies to turn up for the first Test.

Scores in the match West Indies 271 and 357 for 6 and Queensland 617 for 7 declared.

West Indies coach David Williams says Jamaican fast bowler Jerome Taylor will be fit for the opening Test.

Williams said his staff was also still undecided as to which fast bowling combination of Taylor, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach or Gavin Tong will be used.

And the Queensland batsman Nick Kruger believes Roach who hit him in the practice match and picked up 3-135 might have deliberately held back in the match.

Meanwhile, West Indies are set to call in a replacement for Chris Gayle after the skipper had to return home to Jamaica to be with his ill mother.

They are giving Gayle until today to make a rushed return to the tour.

The chances, however, are diminishing, but the explosive left-handed opener hasn’t given up hope of playing at the Gabba.

While the selectors wait on Gayle openers Adrian Barath (74) and Travis Dowlin (53) who both scored confidence boosting half-centuries in the second innings against Queensland, are being groomed.

‘If Chris is not here, those will be the two guys who will be doing the job for us and it’s good to see them get some runs and some confidence,’ said stand-in skipper Ramdin.

‘Most of the batters got a long hit out in the middle and things are coming along.’

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