Cricket lovely cricket
Published: Saturday | February 7, 2009
England's Ryan Sidebottom moves away from a bouncer on the second day of the Test. - AP
The first two days of the 2009 Digicel Home Series, West Indies versus England, was full of absorbing cricket.
As the action began on day one, the West Indies took control quite early, reducing the tourists to 94 for four before they were rescued by former skipper Kevin Pietersen with 97 and Andrew Flintoff, 43, the two featuring in an 86-run stand. Earlier, new captain Andrew Strauss had a dreadful start to his reign. He was dropped on one before falling for seven.
England ended the first day on 236 for five with Flintoff on 43 and Matt Prior on 27.
Allrounder Flintoff failed to add to his overnight score early on day two and England eventually slid to 318 all out. The pick of the bowlers for the West Indies was the tall spinner, Barbadian Sulieman Benn, who ended with four for 77 in 44.2 overs.
Lost an early wicket
Members of the Barmy Army soaking up the sunshine on the Red Stripe Mound on day two of the first Test. - Photo by Keisha Hill
The West Indies also lost an early wicket on day two, courtesy of the new referral system, Devon Smith leg before wicket to Flintoff for six. Smith failed to pick up a full-length delivery. He had initially been given not out by umpire Tony Hill of New Zealand but, after the TV review, he changed his decision.
That was the only wicket the West Indies lost as captain Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan featured in a fruitful partnership. Sarwan survived a couple of anxious moments early in his innings as the referral system was fully tested. He was first ruled out leg before wicket to England's Steve Harmison but the decision was thrown out after a review.
The Red Stripe Mound remains very popular. Among those enjoying themselves in that area of Sabina Park are the now famous Barmy Army, here to put their full weight behind the English team.
West Indies captain Christopher Gayle is solid in defence on day two of the first Test match between the West Indies and England at Sabina Park. - Ian Allen/Staff Photographer