Eng vs WI 2nd Test – Hosts take the early initiative
Eng vs WI 2nd Test Match. England lost the first Test at the Ageas Bowl. Archer was ruled out of the fixture after breaking the bubble. What could go wrong? Not much, as it proved.
It was a slow going at times but England finished day one in a strong position in the second Test match at Old Trafford. After losing the toss and being invited to bat first by Windies captain Jason Holder, with rain around and under gloomy skies – a dodgy England top order could have feared the worst.
Patient knocks from Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes put the hosts’ firmly in command.
After a delayed start due to a wet outfield play got underway at 12.30 pm. Both Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel began looking very out of sorts and stiff from their exertions last week. In fact, both men fired wayward deliveries down in a less than auspicious start during the start of the Eng vs WI 2nd test match.
A Cautious Start But Excellent Chase?
Despite the overhead conditions both Rory Burns and Dom Sibley dealt with everything, the seam bowlers had to throw at them. It was the over before lunch when captain Holder through the ball to his part-time off-spinner Roston Chase when the breakthrough came.
Burns played for the spin that was not there and the ball cannoned into his pad in front of all three. The Surrey man was given out on the field and reviewed, only to have the decision confirmed.
First ball after lunch it was Chase once more, this time England’s new number three Zak Crawley, retained in place of Joe Denly. The Kent batsman fiddling at a spinning ball, he could only push his first ball into the waiting hands of Jason Holder at leg slip.
Joe Root looked fluent for his 23. However, he went for one expansive drive too many and edged to slip off Alzarri Joseph. This left England at 81-3 and in real danger of collapse during the second session of the Eng vs WI 2nd test match.
Stokes and Sibley Stabilise Innings – Eng vs WI 2nd Test Day 1
Joe Root’s wicket brought Ben Stokes to join the immovable Sibley. The pair slowly turned the tide and by tea had all but ran the tourist bowlers into the ground. Stokes did lose patience momentarily before tea when he ran down the track to dispatch Roston Chase over his head for six.
The partnership ticked over the 100 mark towards the end of the play, and thanks to Stokes and Sibley, England were taking control of proceedings. Stokes, in particular, was playing well within himself, during a watchful innings by his standards.
There were valiant efforts from the Windies bowlers in less helpful than expected conditions. Shannon Gabriel left the field hobbling and was absent for some time. This meant that much of the workload fell on both Kemar Roach and Jason Holder. Unluckily, the pair bowled 20 overs each in a gruelling days play with little reward. Eng vs WI 2nd Test Day 1 belonged to the hosts.
Eng vs WI 2nd Test – Day 2 Preview
England will resume on day two 207-3 and well in command with Sibley 14 short of a century and Stokes 59*. The hosts will be optimistic about their chances of posting a healthy first innings total. The West Indies will need early wickets if they are going to justify their captain’s decision at the toss and if they are going to remain in the match.
Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley will both be hopeful of completing their centuries. Doing so, would put England in command. England have a long batting line-up, with the likes of Sam Curran and Chris Woakes in the team. A great platform could also pave the way for an assault by Jos Buttler. The West Indies will be hoping for early wickets to ensure that this does not happen – as they could very well lose the game if it does.
How will Eng vs WI 2nd Test Day 2 play out? Only time will tell but it promises to be an interesting day’s play for both teams.
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