England-West Indies Test: Windies in strong position after wild day twohttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/england-west-indies-test-windies-in-strong-position-after-wild-day-two-5554515/

England-West Indies Test: Windies in strong position after wild day two

Kemar Roach was the chief destroyer, ripping through England's batting lineup and taking five for 17 as England crumbled to 77 - their fourth-lowest total in a Test against West Indies.

West Indies’ Kemar Roach celebrates taking the wicket of England’s Ben Stokes. (Source: Reuters)

An astonishing day two ended with West Indies in a strong but not necessarily impregnable position against England, 339 runs ahead in their second innings with four wickets remaining in the first Test in Barbados on Thursday.

Eighteen wickets fell on a Kensington Oval pitch that despite the carnage seemed quite decent for batting, as England were bowled out for 77, the lowest ever Test score in Bridgetown.

Kemar Roach was the chief destroyer, ripping through the batting lineup and taking five for 17 off 11 fiery overs as England crumbled to their fourth-lowest total in a Test against West Indies.

Roach headed a four-pronged Windies bowling attack that turned back the clock with scenes reminiscent of the halcyon days of the 1970s, when the likes of Andy Roberts and Joel Garner regularly terrorised the world’s best batsmen.

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Roach was well supported by captain Jason Holder (2-15), Alzarri Joseph (2-20) and Shannon Gabriel (1-15), all getting plenty of bounce and enough movement to tie the batsmen in knots.

Holder picked up the prized scalp of Joe Root with a magnificent delivery that nipped in and trapped the England captain lbw for four.

West Indies, who did not enforce the follow-on, enjoyed a 212-run lead, a most unlikely scenario after being all out for 289 earlier on Thursday.

But a day of unlikely swings was not done as the Windies then lost five wickets for only nine runs after an uneventful half-century second innings opening partnership between Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell.

England spinner Mooen Ali picked up three quick scalps in an outstanding spell that suggested the pitch also offers something for the slow bowlers, while paceman Ben Stokes chimed in with a pair of wickets.

ANOTHER TWIST

At 61 for five, England were suddenly back in the match, but there was another twist to come as Shimron Hetmyer and Shane Dowrich steadied the ship with a partnership of 59.

With stumps looming, the impressive Hetmyer was out for 31, caught at point off medium-pacer Sam Curran.

West Indies were 127 for six at stumps, with Dowrich (27) and Holder (7) to resume on Friday.

Earlier, the home team lost their final six wickets for 49 in their first innings.

Pace bowler James Anderson equalled an Ian Botham and England record when he took his 27th five-wicket haul.

He picked up one more scalp on Thursday morning — tailender Joseph for a duck — as the Windies added 25 runs to their overnight total, with England taking nearly an hour to mop up the final two wickets.

Anderson finished with five for 46 off 30 tight overs, while Stokes chipped in with 4-59.

Hetmyer was the last man out, caught behind off Stokes going for an agricultural slog.

Hetmyer, who will play for Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League which starts in March, top-scored with an impressive, hard-hitting 81 off 109 balls.

The teams are playing a three-Test series in the Caribbean.

Windes bowled ‘fantastically well’ says England’s Moeen

England allrounder Moeen Ali complimented the West Indies bowling attack after the visitors were skittled for 77 on the second day of the first test in Barbados on Thursday. Ali was caught on the fine leg boundary for golden duck, one of Kemar Roach’s five victims on a day when the four-pronged Windies bowling attack produced a brilliant display.

“They bowled fantastically well with good pace,” Moeen told reporters in Bridgetown. The England batting line-up has quality all the way down to number 10, so even after slumping to 44 for three it was reasonable to believe the visitors would still eke out a respectable reply to the hosts’ first innings of 289.

But when captain Joe Root was trapped lbw for four by West Indies counterpart Jason Holder, the writing was on the wall.
England crumbled to be dismissed for the lowest total in a test at Kensington Oval, leaving them with a first-innings deficit of 212 runs.

Roach’s five wickets for 17 runs off 11 fiery overs came less than seven months after he returned 5-8 against Bangladesh. “Today is one of those great days against a top side, so I’m proud of my achievement,” the 30-year-old said, his achievement made all the more sweeter by playing on his home ground.

“I want to do that as much as possible for as long as possible for West Indies. It was a special, special feeling. “We just tried to make them uncomfortable. You never expect these days but they do happen. It’s all about doing it again in the final innings.”

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West Indies will resume their second innings on Friday at 127 for six, an overall lead of 339.