England End Day Unharmed After Windies Show Late Resistance
West Indies 299 (Samuels 103) v
England 74-0 (Cook 37 no)
Second Test, Grenada, day two
A 52-run 10th-wicket partnership took West Indies close to a 300 but a strong unbeaten opening stand of 74 for England ensured they finished day two of the second Test in Grenada on a positive note.
West Indies resumed the day on 188 for five, Marlon Samuels (103) and Denesh Ramdin (31) at the crease.
The start was delayed because of rain with overcast conditions.
When play did get underway, Ben Stokes (1-66) got one to go very close to Ramdin’s gloves first ball of the day. Alastair Cook reviewed the decision but it wasn’t overturned.
Ramdin and Samuels survived 53 deliveries on day two before rain interrupted play again and early lunch was taken.
England took the new ball as soon as it was available. However, rain played spoilsport for the third time in the day stopping the players from getting into any sort of rhythm.
Samuels, though, smashed a four off James Anderson (2-47) the second over after play resumed again getting to his seventh Test century.
However, like is characteristic with him, he got out just couple of balls later nicking Anderson’s in-swinger to second slip, the partnership falling short of a ton by just six runs.
Ramdin followed suit soon enough, nicking a good delivery from Stuart Broad (4-61) in the channel to the wicket-keeper, Jos Buttler.
Jason Holder (22), hero at Antigua, smashed a six off Anderson and survived a close chance as Moeen Ali (1-47) took a catch off his pull at deep midwicket but was unsure about whether it was clean.
Holder cracked another six through midwicket before edging one to the keeper, Broad benefiting from the former’s aggressive intent.
Kemar Roach (1) nicked one to gully after surviving close to three overs, West Indies tottering at 247 for nine.
However, Devendra Bishoo (30) and Shannon Gabriel (20 not out) played out 11.2 overs to add a valuable 52 runs for the 10th wicket.
Bishoo survived a review when on 14. The pair managed a few fours, before Ali finally got an lbw decision in his favour, Bishoo missing out on a sweep, bringing to an end his 48-ball knock.
Broad was the pick of the bowlers bowling with a spring in his step and getting the ball to nibble. Anderson got the all-important wicket of Samuels.
England started confidently, Alastair Cook (37 not out) getting couple of fours in the second over.
Jonathan Trott (32 not out), a little fortunate at the beginning of his innings not to have played on to his stumps, managed to find some touch as well.
With a four in the 11th over, Cook went on to surpass Alec Stewart to become the second highest run-getter for England of all time in Tests, now with 8484 runs and just 416 behind the leader Graham Gooch.
Cook survived a good ball from Bishoo (0-16) late in the day that was edged to slips but didn’t quite carry.
As the light dipped sharply, stumps were called early as another three overs were lost in the day.
While West Indies weren’t accurate most of the session, Cook and Trott were secure for most part, barring a couple of edges past slips, the pair adding an unbeaten 74 in 26 overs.
England now trail West Indies by 225 runs.
For West Indies, Bishoo was impressive but looking at the bowling of Gabriel (0-16) and Roach (0-21), West Indies will sorely miss the sharpness of Jerome Taylor.
Samuels (0-1), the centurion of the day, managed to bowl a couple of maidens in his spell of three overs too.
© Cricket World 2015