A brute for Root, belligerent Bairstow, Denly’s disappointing debut and Windies on top – all you need to know from day one in Antigua.
England were bowled out for 187 by Windies on a lively first-day pitch in the second Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, writes Sam Drury.
Kemar Roach took 4-30 as the Windies quicks made the most of a bowler-friendly surface in Antigua, on which only Moeen Ali (60), Jonny Bairstow (52) and Ben Foakes (35) were able to provide any real resistance for England.
Despite a fiery opening spell from Stuart Broad, the Windies openers survived 21 overs before the close, taking the hosts to 30-0, but given the up-and-down nature of the pitch England will feel that they are still firmly in this game provided they can take some early wickets on day two.
W Indies vs England
February 1, 2019, 1:30pm
Moment of the Day
THAT DELIVERY! Antiguan seamer Alzarri Joseph produced a moment of magic in the morning session on his home turf, with a virtually unplayable delivery that shot viciously off a good length and stunned England skipper Joe Root, the 28-year-old sent packing for just seven.
The ball fizzed up, took the bat handle and was then taken by a running Shai Hope at gully after third slip John Campbell parried it up in the air – commentators and Root were stunned alike as the latter’s hope of a first meaningful innings of the series went up in smoke.
That ripsnorting delivery was in stark contrast to the one that removed debutant Joe Denly for six, the Kent man chasing a rank, wide ball and edging behind as his first Test knock proved fleeting. It could have been more fleeting with the batsman just surviving a tight lbw review on nought!
A fun moment came in the final session, however, when Windies opener Campbell attempted a Dil-scoop off the recalled Broad – Campbell missed and was clonked on thew shoulder, while Broad shook his head in bemusement!
"Oh my word, oh my word!"
John Campbell tries a Dil-scoop in the 10th over of a Test match!
Stuart Broad cannot resist shaking his head!
? Watch #WIvENG live: https://t.co/eaJpOwLTrE
? Live blog: https://t.co/f8rsrVHSeb pic.twitter.com/mHbBWeoeCE
Stats of the Day
Ali’s score of 60 was only his second half-century for England in his last 25 Test innings.
Denly, at 32, is the oldest specialist batsman to debut for England since a 33-year-old Alan Wells made his bow, also against Windies, at The Oval in 1995.
Denly opened the batting for England, despite having last carried out that job at first-class level for Kent in 2015.
England seem no closer to knowing their opening partnership for the Ashes series this summer – but perhaps No 3 is now settled.
Bairstow played a vital counter-attacking innings at first drop in Antigua – England reached lunch on 78-4 on a green and fruity surface, with Bairstow having scored 52 of those runs, 42 of them in boundaries.
The Yorkshireman – who kept wicket during the evening with Foakes nursing a bruised hand he sustained while being dismissed by Shannon Gabriel – averages 43.80 at No 3, having notched 110 from the spot in Sri Lanka.
“Bairstow was outstanding,” said Sky Cricket’s Nasser Hussain. “It’s a big comment but I think that was one of Jonny’s best Test innings to date. A lot of that had to do with the surface – it has not been easy to bat.”
Rob Key agreed, saying that if Root is determined not to bat at No 3 then there is no better man than Bairstow to fulfil the role.
The sticking point to Bairstow at No 3, however, could come if England decide they do not need Foakes as wicketkeeper. If Bairstow is handed back the gloves, then surely he cannot bat that high?
What they said
JONNY BAIRSTOW: “I don’t think you felt ‘in’ because there was always going to be a ball in there that might bounce or keep low, especially when they’ve got guys who are coming at well over six foot. I think it’s something that is difficult to contend with when there is variable bounce in the pitch.”
NASSER HUSSAIN: “England were a little bit off [with the ball]. Not a lot. Stuart Broad was a fraction short, Ben Stokes was a fraction wide and let Kraigg Brathwaite leave the ball. With a low first-innings score they can’t afford to be a bit off again – they have to be spot on.”
MICHAEL ATHERTON: “You have to embrace the challenge and Denly’s is a good story. He is 32 years of age, all that endurance, he has re-invented himself in the last couple of years as a cricketer and with the Ashes on the horizon what a tantalising opportunity for him.”
Tweets of the Day
Dave lad has got very excited about a rainbow !! pic.twitter.com/VHUJjQKzJS
That Alzarri Joseph delivery to get rid of Joe Root from a different angle…#WIvENG pic.twitter.com/IfB65oyR3M
Joseph found extravagant bounce in dismissing Root. The wicket ball found nearly a metre more bounce than an earlier ball that pitched on a similar length. #WIvEng pic.twitter.com/5UUkTcP7ws
Bit of stitching saving Denly from duck on debut pic.twitter.com/imuk5tvqlp
1️⃣1️⃣,0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ First Class Runs now scored by Moeen Ali ??? pic.twitter.com/6NpZJ5dw2e
Watch day two of the second Test between Windies and England, in Antigua, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event from 1.30pm on Friday.
You can also follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on our rolling blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.
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