October 26, 2020

England v West Indies: Late slump leaves tourists as favourites

‘Right in the centre of the dartboard’ – Crawley receives low blow
First Test, day four, Ageas Bowl
England 204 (Holder 6-42) & 284-8 (Crawley 76, Sibley 50, Stokes 46)
West Indies 318 (Brathwaite 65, Dowrich 61)
England lead by 170

England lost five wickets for 30 runs late on the fourth day to leave West Indies as favourites to win the first Test in Southampton.

Zak Crawley’s 76, allied to 46 from Ben Stokes, looked to be batting England into a winning position.

Both fell in successive overs to begin the England slide as the tourists lifted themselves late in the day.

Pace bowler Alzarri Joseph removed Crawley and Jos Buttler, either side of Jason Holder striking another blow in his battle with fellow captain and all-rounder Stokes.

Dom Bess survived being dropped and a tight lbw shout, only to be bowled by Shannon Gabriel, who had Ollie Pope play on four balls later.

Overall, England fell from 249-3 to 279-8, ultimately closing on 284-8 – a lead of 170.

With the pitch showing some uneven bounce, particularly from one end, England will have a chance of defending whatever target they set.

However, West Indies have been impressive throughout the match, and they will have a superb opportunity to go ahead in the three-match series.

Fifty, reprieve and then out – Sibley’s eventful over

More to follow.