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England Ahead In Spite Of A West Indian Comeback

Kemar Roach celebrates the wicket of Jos Buttler during day two of the first Test in Antigua.
Kemar Roach celebrates the wicket of Jos Buttler during day two of the first Test in Antigua.
©REUTERS / Action Images

West Indies 155-4 (Brathwaite 39) trail by 244
399 (Bell 143) 
First Test, Antigua, day two

Kemar Roach finished with four wickets and quite a few top order West Indian batsmen got starts without going big on a shared day of cricket in the first test at Antigua where England has its nose firmly ahead at stumps on day two.

West Indies ended day one on a high getting the prized wicket of Ian Bell (143) at the stroke of stumps.

After a quiet start, Jerome Taylor (3-90) got the big wicket of Ben Stokes (79) who nicked one to gully to miss out on a well-deserved century.

James Tredwell’s (8) 24 ball vigil ended in the ninth over of the day when he edged one to first slip off the bowling of Jason Holder (2-69) who was West Indies’ most economical bowler in the first innings.

Chris Jordan (21 not out) survived a very close lbw review even as the West Indian bowlers piled on the pressure beautifully, hardly giving anything away.

The usually attacking Jos Buttler (0) wasn’t allowed to get off the mark as he battled for a while. His 22-ball knock ended with a thick edge to the wicket-keeper, Denesh Ramdin.

Stuart Broad (0) lasted all of three balls, Roach nipping him out with a full delivery driven straight to point leaving England at 361 for nine.

England which until that point had lost four wickets in 14 overs, having scored just 20 runs, benefited from the last wicket partnership of 38 between James Anderson (20) and Jordan who played some attacking strokes before being left stranded.

Anderson’s 22 ball cameo ended with a mistimed hit to covers rounding off England’s batting performance in the morning – a disappointing 58 for five eventually ending their innings at 399.

West Indian opening pair had to survive three overs before lunch which they did without any alarm.

However, Anderson (1-24) was rewarded for some lovely lines and swing, with the wicket of Devon Smith (11) allowing England’s premier fast bowler to go just two wickets shy of England’s all time record of 383 set by Ian Botham.

Darren Bravo (10) too played 25 balls and just when he looked like settling down, nicked one to the wicket-keeper off the bowling of Jordan (1-29).

West Indies seemed to be doing well going into tea 84 for two, Marlon Samuels (33) playing some sparkling strokes, hitting four of his five fours and adding 47 for the third wicket before the break.

However, he was out soon after play resumed in the last sessionfalling to a seemingly set plan, Stuart Broad (1-46) picking his wicket with a cutter on a pitch that is already turning a little powdery.

It hurt West Indies that they lost the well-settled Kraigg Braithwaite (39) almost immediately, after the opening batsman played 17 overs all by himself in the West Indian innings.

The usually underestimated Tredwell (1-22) playing only his second test picked the wicket thanks to a stunning catch at slips by Jordan.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul (29 not out) and Jermaine Blackwood (30 not out) restored some sanity after West Indies were reeling at 99 for four. 

The duo ensured West Indies did not lose any more wickets for the day, ending  day two at 155 for four.

 Between them, the pair managed nearly 29 overs, the greater part of the last session, to ensure the day was shared between the two teams.

Blackwood was lucky considering he was caught at slips when on 21 off the bowling of Stokes (0-32), only for the umpire to call it a no-ball.

Tredwell and Anderson giving less than two runs per over, ensured that England still have enough runs in the bank to put pressure on West Indies on day three.

On the back of a good first day, England are ahead in the game with West Indies trailing by 244 runs with just six wickets in hand. 

© Cricket World 2015