West Indies v England: England looking for a breakthrough after West Indies regroup and draw closer Yorkshire News

Answering England’s total of 311, the West Indies closed the second day in Antigua with a 202-4 record, with two solid partnerships that left their opponents with much to ponder.

Starting pitchers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell hit a shuttlecock while racking up 83, before Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder batted throughout the evening session for an unbroken 75.

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Joe Root’s team began the morning breaking 300 for the first time in 13 innings and seven months, an achievement that fell squarely on the shoulders of Jonny Bairstow, who was the last man to go out with 140. But whatever satisfaction they might have felt it soon dimmed. for a lethargic start on the field. With the twin specters of Anderson and Broad hovering over the narrative, a decidedly lethargic burst of new ball from Chris Woakes and Craig Overton handed the initiative to the hosts.

England’s Ben Stokes celebrates the sacking of West Indies’ Shamarh Brooks during day two of the first Test at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda. Image: AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan.

Brathwaite and Campbell built up a partnership full of limits when England made it impossible not to wonder what their great absentees would have offered. No doubt they were asking the same question, kidnapped in Manchester and Nottingham respectively.

Just when things were starting to look dangerous, the Windies lost their nerve when a series of careless firings undid much of their good work. Campbell was the first to go, gloving an errant Overton goalkeeper who was disappearing down the side of the leg. Kraigg Brathwaite (55) and Shamarh Brooks will also kick each other for sloppy shots, before Woakes takes out Jermaine Blackwood with the final ball before tea.

By then the momentum had reversed, but with a handful of rainy intervals breaking the rhythm of the afternoon session, where Bonner (34th) and Holder (43rd) worked their way back into a decent position.

England had resumed their innings at 268-6, adding 43 for their last four wickets. Bairstow, undefeated in the 109 overnight after putting on an admirable save act, scored 31 of those before finally sending Alzarri Joseph into the eddies of the crosswind. By then, he had only No. 11 Leach for company, with Woakes and Overton shredded by the pace and rebounding of 20-year-old rookie Jayden Seales and Wood winging Joseph.

And so to the real intrigue. How would the bowling attack come together, without its two most prolific performers? They have been absent before, of course, as recently as this winter’s Ashes. But by leaving them, others have been publicly invited to step forward and take on new responsibilities. First impressions were underwhelming, to say the least, as Woakes and Overton turned into a bland opening blast. Woakes failed to offer any control first, leaking 21 of his first three overs while offering a steady diet of limit balls, while Overton struggled to shake off the substitute tag from him.

After working so hard for their own runs, England wasted 44 of them in 10 overs before lunch, including seven fours.

The stand had nearly doubled before a fluke intervened, Overton trailing one solo for Campbell (35) to miss his cashing attempt. Brathwaite was no less guilty of his own departure soon after. Brathwaite, known as one of Test Cricket’s most stubborn blockers, was filling his boots at the other end. He posted his fastest 62-ball half-century with seven fours and a six-ping against Leach.

The more England gave him long balls to drive, the more he indulged. He steered his side’s score into triple figures, but dropped to 55 a few moments later when he followed a wide one from Wood and cut it straight into Overton at Gully. Before the session was over, Shamarh Brooks had brought Ben Stokes into the first slide and Woakes received a much-needed boost courtesy of Jermaine Blackwood’s skinny inside rim and Root’s wise DRS reference.

Just a few days ago, Stokes was not expected to bowl in this match due to his recent lateral strain, but he has generally been optimistic about his recovery and was probably England’s most threatening option in the nine overs he sent.

The West Indies regained their resolve in the evening, with Bonner challenging and Holder continuing their record in this match. Asked to hit at No. 6 here, the all-rounder responded with a graceful swing that could still shape the direction of the game.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-09 22:16:02

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