Cricket - Brathwaite
West Indies Test captain Kraig Brathwaite acknowledges cheers from the crowd after reaching a defiant century. Image Credit: AFP

Barbados: England’s so-called red ball reset after the recent Ashes debacle endured a sobering reality check against West Indies on Friday when their bowlers toiled for only three wickets on a long day in the field at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

West Indies closed on 288 for four in their first innings in reply to England’s 507 for nine declared.

On a placid pitch that has exposed the bowling limitations of both teams, England struggled to regularly beat the bat of a stoic West Indies upper order determined to survive after starting day three of the second Test in a deep hole.

With England’s two genuinely quick pacemen, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, injured, and veterans Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad left out of the touring party, the Caribbean trip is serving as an audition for those present.

But while pace bowlers Matt Fisher and Saqib Mahmood have been generally tidy on debut, and spinner Jack Leach has been relentlessly accurate, the bowling has mostly lacked a cutting edge.

“It’s a very honest bowling attack which hasn’t got the X-factor of a wrist spinner or a real fast bowler,” said former England bowler-turned TV commentator Steve Harmison.

“The jury’s still out on (Leach at) Test match level. Today he showed that with a surface with a bit of assistance he didn’t get the ball to turn as much as he probably should have.” Leach has figures of 1-97 from 44 overs.

Fisher, Ben Stokes and part-time spinner Dan Lawrence have one wicket apiece, with Lawrence claiming the valuable scalp of Jermaine Blackwood for 102 just before stumps.

But Kraigg Brathwaite remained unbeaten on 109.


England (1st innings) 507-9 declared

West Indies (1st Innings, overnight 71-1)

K. Brathwaite not out 109

J. Campbell c Foakes b Fisher 4

S. Brooks c Woakes b Leach 39

N. Bonner lbw Stokes 9

J. Blackwood lbw Lawrence 102

A. Joseph not out 4

Extras (b-10, lb-4, nb-7) 21

Total (4 wkts, 117 overs) 288

Fall of wickets: 1-14 (Campbell), 2-83 (Brooks), 3-101 (Bonner), 4-284 (Blackwood)

Bowling: C. Woakes 16-7-46-0, M. Fisher 17-5-44-1, J. Leach 44-14-97-1, B. Stokes 17-8-34-1 (2nb), S. Mahmood 15-3-35-0 (5nb), D. Lawrence 5-2-8-1, J. Root 3-0-10-0

Toss: England

Umpires: Joel Wilson (TRI), Nigel Duguid (GUY)

Match Referee: Sir Richie Richardson (ANT)