Windies stage fightback after early batting slump against England
NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC):
West Indies were staging a gutsy fightback against England at stumps on the second day of the first Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium here yesterday.
Veteran Shiv Chanderpaul and Jermaine Blackwood crafted an unbeaten half-century partnership as the home side fought doggedly to lift themselves out of danger following crippling setbacks in the post lunch and post tea sessions.
They were 155 for four at the close with Chanderpaul and Blackwood unbeaten on 29 and 30, respectively, while opener Kraigg Brathwaite went for a patient 39 and Marlon Samuels 33.
Earlier, the West Indies pacers bowled with a tight line and length to significantly restrict England batsmen, bowling them out for 399 after they resumed from an overnight 341 for five.
However, led by James Anderson, England hit back after lunch as Windies batting faltered and fumbled and by the close they were seeking, again, to ease their way back into contention.
West Indies trail by 244 runs with six wickets remaining in a match that swung back and forth.
The home team's bowlers rebounded from a beating on the opening day to remove the second half of England's innings for just 58 runs in a morning session they completely dominated.
The Windies pacers maintained a tight bowling line, led by Pacer Kemar Roach, who grabbed four for 94 runs and received support from Jerome Taylor and Jason Holder.
Ben Stokes was prevented from reaching a century, adding only eight runs to his overnight score of 71 before he was caught at gully while opening the face of the bat to a delivery pushed across his body by Taylor.
Roach's four-wicket haul included Jos Buttler and Stuart Broad, who were both removed without scoring, while Taylor finished with three for 90, Jason Holder two for 69 and Marlon Samuels picked up the last wicket in James Anderson.
Anderson, who scored 20, mistimed a shot at short cover and dollied a ball to Holder, but only after a stubborn last-wicket stand with Chris Jordan, which produced 38 runs. Jordan was not out on 21.
gained upper hand
West Indies faced three overs before the lunch break, but then slumped to 42 for two in the post lunch session as England gained the upper hand.
Opener Devon Smith went for 11 after he was forced to play and got an outside edge to Buttler, while Darren Bravo departed shortly after, caught by Buttler off Jordan for 10.
Bravo was attempting to leave Jordan's delivery, but raised his bat too late and paid the price for his indecision.
Meantime, Brathwaite and middle-order batsman Samuels were attempting to rebuild West Indies' first innings with a third-wicket stand that yielded 47 runs.
It ended when Samuels, who scored 33, pressed forward to Broad, only to get a thick edge which carried low to Buttler.
Brathwaite departed next, victim of a stunning catch taken by Jordan at slips, who plucked the ball a fraction from the turf after the batsman had prodded to a delivery from James Tredwell.
Chanderpaul, who counted five boundaries; and Blackwood, with four fours and a six, have already compiled 56 runs for the fifth wicket and will be hoping to continue from where they left off when play resumes this morning.
The two have so far batted sensibly, with Blackwood given a lifeline when he was on 21, steering a ball to Alastair Cook at slips, only for the replay to show that Ben Stokes had bowled a no-ball when he overstepped the line.