Marlon Samuels Rescues West Indies After England Dominate
West Indies 188-5 (Samuels 94no) v England
Second Test, Grenada, day one
West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels held one end up bravely to ensure England didn’t win day one of the second Test comprehensively after rain delayed the start of the game at the National Cricket Stadium, Grenada.
There was a lot of swing on offer after England won the toss and opted to bowl. Rain played spoilsport at the very beginning with only 15 overs of play possible in the first session.
West Indies went into the game without their most incisive bowler, Jerome Taylor, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury and was replaced by Shannon Gabriel. Devendra Bishoo took the place of Sulieman Benn who was dropped for the second Test.
England made one change to their line-up with Moeen Ali replacing the injured James Tredwell.
Kraigg Brathwaite (1) departed very early as England’s new highest Test wicket-taker, James Anderson (1-18), bowled a peach to beat the batsman’s defence with an in-swinger that rattled the leg stump.
Devon Smith (15) was dropped on 13 off Chris Jordan’s (2-40) bowling but he went anyway three balls later, nicking one to the wicket-keeper, chasing a wide half-volley.
Darren Bravo (35) took West Indies on a positive note to the lunch session smashing two fours off the last over of the session bowled by Moeen Ali (0-45).
Meanwhile Samuels (94 not out) took 21 balls to get off the mark.
After lunch, Ben Stokes (1-33) was injured during fielding which delayed the game. Two overs later, in the 29th, Bravo edged one to the first slip off the bowling of Stuart Broad (1-42) after just having cover driven him beautifully, leaving West Indies in a spot of bother at 65 for three.
The biggest blow came a few overs later as West Indies' most experienced batsman, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (1), played a loose stroke chipping one to point, playing away from the body, Stokes claiming his wicket.
Samuels and Jermaine Blackwood (26), a centurion in the previous game, consolidated for a while using up 20 overs for their 55-run partnership. Samuels survived an England review for an lbw in the 41st over.
West Indies went in to tea 102 for four, Samuels and Blackwood keeping the session in balance.
Samuels was offered a life on 32 when the England skipper, Alastair Cook, dropped one off the bowling of Jordan at first slip, unfortunate for the bowler who himself has taken some stunners at slip.
Blackwood was dropped by Broad too on 20, the latter missing a tough caught and bowled opportunity.
However, Blackwood couldn’t make the most out of the chance. When he was caught in front of the stumps the next over, Cook reviewed the close one that Steve Davis turned down.
The decision was overturned with three reds and Blackwood had to walk back.
Hero of the second innings at Antigua, Denesh Ramdin (6 not out), along with Samuels, ensured there was no further loss as West Indies went to stumps on day one at 188 for five, 70 overs being bowled.
Ramdin played just 35 deliveries off the 16 overs, Samuels scoring 51 off the 59 runs they put on together.
Samuels played aggressively after the dismissal of Blackwood, hitting a couple of fours off Broad and then off Stokes in the 59th and 60th overs respectively.
Ali also went for some runs before play was ended early due to bad light, the batsmen walking away to battle another day.
For England, Anderson was economical and sharp while Jordan was the most successful and incisive, notching up 90mph at times. Ali went for quite a few runs although Joe Root didn’t get to bowl at all.
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