Brathwaite urges stronger Windies Day Two
Windies vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite says the team’s bowlers have to come out strong today on the second day of the second Test at Old Trafford if they are to restrict England to a manageable total.
After a delay to the start because of rain yesterday, the hosts were resolute, posting 207/3, with opener Dom Sibley inching his way to an unbeaten 86 from 253 balls while Ben Stokes is not out on 59.
The pair has so far shared in a 126-run unbroken fourth-wicket stand after off-spinner Roston Chase removed opener Rory Burns for 15, Zak Crawley for a duck, and Alzarri Joseph dismissed England captain Joe Root for 23.
On a day when the bowlers were getting more than enough movement, it was the radar of strike bowler Shannon Gabriel that was off while Kemar Roach still can’t get the monkey off his back where wickets are concerned. His last dismissal was 78 overs when he got India captain Virat Kohli at Sabina Park on August 31, 2019.
Despite all the bowlers being fairly economical, wickets were a premium, and it is something that Brathwaite believes that the team needs to zero in on today.
“We have to start well,” he said during the post-day’s play briefing. “Even if we don’t get wickets, we have to be tight. Anything under 330 or 340 would be good. The pitch is a little bit slow, and it had some moisture, but if you spend time at the wicket, it will turn out to be a decent pitch for batting.”
Having said that, Brathwaite believes that the team did a decent job in limiting the scoring of the hosts, who totalled just 2.52 runs per over.
“I wouldn’t say it was a disappointing day,” he said. ”Obviously, we would have loved to have gotten more wickets, but I think we kept in touch with the game, which was good for us. We kept the pressure on, and, unfortunately,we didn’t take some chances that we had.”
The Windies, who were unchanged for the second Test, did not help themselves in the field either as skipper Jason Holder dropped Sibley on 68 off Gabriel, who laboured throughout the day after suffering from soreness.
England left out Barbados-born fast bowler Jofra Archer, who breached the protocols of the biosecure environment in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 25-year-old went to his home in Brighton, England, after the first Test in Southampton on Sunday. England opted to include Root, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran in their side at Old Trafford.
ENGLAND 1st innings
R Burns lbw b Chase 15
D Sibley not out 85
Z Crawley c Holder b Chase 0
*J Root c Holder b Joseph 23
B Stokes not out 59
Extras (b4, lb6, w9, nb5) 24
TOTAL (3 wkts, 80.3 overs) 206
To bat: O Pope, +J Buttler, S Curran, D Bess, C Woakes, S Broad.
Fall of wickets: 1-29 (Burns), 2-29 (Crawley), 3-81 (Root).
Bowling: Roach 20-4-37-0 (w1, nb3), Gabriel 10-1-32-0 (w4, nb2), Joseph 15-3-41-1, Holder 20-8-33-0, Chase 16-1-53-2, Brathwaite 1-0-1-0.
WINDIES – K Brathwaite, J Campbell, S Hope, S Brooks, J Blackwood, R Chase, *J Holder, +S Dowrich, A Joseph, K Roach, S Gabriel.
Umpires: Michael Gough, Richard Illingworth; TV – Richard Kettleborough.