ENG v WI, 2nd Test, Day 1 Review: Speedsters give West Indies a dream start at Headingley

ENG v WI, 2nd Test, Day 1 Review: Speedsters give West Indies a dream start at Headingley

Night watchman Devendra Bishoo and Kraigg Brathwaite batted the remaining overs out and West Indies finished Day 1 at 19 for the loss of one wicket

Ben Stokes
England’s Ben Stokes celebrates with Chris Woakes. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel’s terrorizing fast bowling rendition gave West Indies an ideal start to the second Test at Headingley. It was a breath of fresh air for the Windies fans as they had not witnessed anything like this for some time. After Joe Root won the toss and decided to bat first, nothing went right for England as they tottered right from the outset.

The double-centurion in the previous game Alastair Cook thrashed a couple of boundaries off the fast bowlers, but Shannon Gabriel got the better of him in the 8th over. The experienced campaigner Kemar Roach soon provided the second wicket for his captain. Roach then provided a killer blow by removing Mark Stoneman and the top 3 English batters were back in the hunt with the scoreboard reading 37/3 after 15 overs.

Joe Root was accompanied by Dawid Malan and the duo had a tough task cut out. Malan was clearly not comfortable facing the music and after fighting it out for 39 balls, he was dismissed by the skipper Jason Holder and West Indies were in dream land. The English top order which taunted them quite brutally a few days ago, was getting a taste of its own medicine.

Stokes and Root into the rescue

Ben Stokes and Joe Root had to rescue their ship which was in danger of sinking. They did so in some style as Stokes showed no respect to the bowlers or the situation and started scoring runs quickly. He owned the off-side region and his flamboyant cuts and drives were a treat to the eye.

Joe Root found it a tad more difficult to get going, but he was anchoring the innings well. The Caribbean speedsters kept troubling the English skipper with some unplayable deliveries, but whenever there was an opportunity, he lashed hard at them and collected some crucial boundaries. With a boundary off Devendra Bishoo, he completed yet another half-century and the Leeds crowd were palpably elated.

Stokes didn’t take much time either to get to his fifty. He slapped the ball through covers for a boundary to reach the milestone and the duo was looking ominous for the bowlers. Then came a moment of magic from Bishoo, who managed to trick the English skipper and induced a false shot from him. Root was back in the gallery after scoring 59 off 98 balls.

Post then, only three players were in the spotlight, Stokes, Gabriel, and Roach. Whilst Stokes kept clobbering boundaries at regular intervals, there was no support for him from the other end. Bairstow was the first to go after Root as he nicked the ball straight to the second slip.

Moeen Ali came out to bat with an intent to score quick runs as England had realized they won’t last long. He targeted Roston Chase and gathered few crucial runs, before surrendering to Roach. Amidst all the chaos, Stokes completed his 6th Test match hundred and the entire crowd was on its feet, saluting the genius he is.

But he lost his focus soon and tried an audacious slog, only to get a bottom edge straight into the hands of the keeper. He scored 100 off 124 balls, which included 17 boundaries. Chris Woakes hit few lusty blows at the end and that propelled them over the 250 mark. Roach and Gabriel picked up the final two wickets wasting no time and England were bundled out for 258 in 70.5 overs. Roach and Gabriel picked 4 wickets a piece whilst Holder and Bishoo picked up a wicket each.

Anderson provides the first breakthrough

West Indies lost their first wicket as Kieran Powell fell prey to an absolute scorcher from James Anderson. Night watchman Devendra Bishoo and Kraigg Brathwaite batted the remaining overs out and they finished at 19 for the loss of 1 wicket at the end of the first day’s play.

Brief Scores

1st Innings

England: 258 all out in 70.5 overs(Ben Stokes 100, Joe Root 59; Kemar Roach 4/71, Shannon Gabriel 4/51)

West Indies: 19/1 in 12 overs