Samuels leads West Indies fightback
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada, (CMC):
West Indies middle order batsman Marlon Samuels rallied an ambitious fightback with a counterattack on England bowlers that also brought him within sight of his seventh Test century on the first day of the second cricket Test yesterday.
Samuels batted responsibly to be unbeaten on 94, which helped to pull the West Indies out of precarious positions in the rain affected first day at the National Cricket Stadium.
West Indies, who lost their openers before lunch and laboured to 104 for four by tea, had recovered to a decent position of 188 for five at stumps after the first hour was lost due to heavy and light showers.
Bad light stopped play with only 70 overs bowled with the homeside creeping back into contention after struggling against England's seam attack in overcast conditions throughout the day.
England struck within the first hour as Kraigg Brathwaite and Devon Smith were removed by James Anderson and Chris Jordan, respectively.
The home side fought back, but Darren Bravo, who led that effort, was dismissed for a fighting 35, leaving his team still in trouble at 65 for three.
Brathwaite fell early
Brathwaite fell early in the third over for one, beaten by an inswinger, from Anderson, which darted into his pad and deflected on to the leg stump.
Smith, who became the first Grenadian to play Test cricket on home soil, batted cautiously at first, but then ran into problems with Chris Jordan.
Smith hit two fours and got to 15 when he was dropped by Garry Balance down the legside, but four balls later his luck ran out as he followed a ball wide outside his off stump which seems to have got an edge to the wicketkeeper.
Smith stood his ground for a while, but declined a review although replays suggested he had not hit the ball.
West Indies innings plunged into further trouble with the loss of Darren Bravo and Shiv Chanderpaul in the post-lunch session.
Bravo, who smashed five fours, was caught on 35 in the wake of a stubborn 37-run stand with Samuels for the third wicket after West Indies went to lunch at 36 for two.
Bravo played a lazy shot attempting to follow a ball from Stuart Broad that was angled across him and got an edge to first slip.
Chanderpaul also played a poor shot with his bat away from his body for Moeen Ali to take an easy catch at point.
Meanwhile, Samuels was accumulating his runs slowly, but once he crossed his half century, the runs flowed.
He shared in two half century partnerships - 55 runs with Jermaine Blackwood, for the 5th wicket and 59th runs with Captain Denesh Ramdin for the 6th wicket.
Samuels has already counted 13 fours while Blackwood, who scored five fours got to 26 before he was lbw to Jordan, England's best bowler, with two for 40.
England won the toss and elected to bowl with only 15 overs possible before lunch.
Both teams have made changes to their sides - England replacing off-spinner James Tredwell with Moeen Ali, while West Indies have brought in Shannon Gabriel for the injured Jerome Taylor and Devendra Bishoo in place of Suliemann Benn.
West Indies 1st innings
K. Brathwaite b Anderson 1
D.S. Smith c +Buttler b Jordan 15
D.M. Bravo c Cook b Broad 35
M. Samuels not out 94
S. Chanderpaul c Ali b Stokes 1
J. Blackwood lbw b Jordan 26
D. Ramdin not out 6
Extras: (b 5, lb 3, w 1, nb 1) 10
Total: (5 wickets; 70 overs) 188
To bat: KAJ Roach, JO Holder, ST Gabriel, D Bishoo
Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Brathwaite), 2-28 (Smith), 3-65 (Bravo), 4-74 (Chanderpaul), 5-129 (Blackwood)
Bowling: Anderson 15-8-18-1,Broad 16-5-42-1, Jordan 16-3-40-2, Ali 12-1-45-0,Stokes 10-4-33-1, Trott 1-0-2-0.
Umpires: Steve Davis and Bruce Oxenford.
TV - Billy Bowden.