Trailing by 1-0 in the three-match home Test series against West Indies, England started the second Test of this series at Old Trafford (Manchester) patiently. On the first day of this Test, while the hosts lost their first three wickets cheaply, opener Dom Sibley and the Test vice-captain Ben Stokes have then set up a solid partnership.
The day had a delayed start due to the rain. During that rain-interruption, it was confirmed that the English pacer Jofra Archer was out from this crucial Test due to breaching team’s bio-secure protocols and it was the crucial blow for England even before the beginning of this Test.
The visiting captain Jason Holder decided to field first after winning the toss. While West Indies maintained the same playing XI of their last Test at Southampton, England made four changes as the skipper Joe Root has returned to the game along with the pacers Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran. Meanwhile, the top-order batsman Joe Denly and the pacers James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood have been dropped from England’s playing XI, who all featured in the Southampton Test.
England 207/3: Dom Sibley 86* and Ben Stokes 59*
At the stumps on the opening day of this Test match, England were batting on 207/3. While the opener Dom Sibley was not out on 86 runs off 253 balls (4 fours), the middle-order batsman Ben Stokes was batting on 59 runs off 159 balls (4 fours and only six).
After Rory Burns and Dom Sibley provided the 29-run opening partnership, Caribbean off-spinner Roston Chase trapped Burns lbw, who just scored 15 runs. The umpires called the lunch break just after that opening wicket of the game.
On the very first ball of the second session, Chase dismissed Zak Crawley for a golden duck. While the next ball was the hat-trick ball for Chase, he failed to dismiss the English Test captain Joe Root. After Sibley and Root set up the 52-run partnership for the third wicket, Caribbean pacer Alzarri Joseph dismissed the English Test captain (23) who was caught out at the slip by the West Indies Test skipper Jason Holder.
While the English team was struggling on 81/3, Ben Stokes came to rescue the hosts’ innings by setting up a healthy partnership with the opener Sibley.
A few overs before the tea break, Shamarh Brooks dropped a chance of Sibley. At the tea break, England were batting on 112/3.
Opener Sibley completed his half-century in the early third session. When Sibley was batting on 68 runs, Holder dropped a catch at the second slip. Just a few overs later, Stokes completed his half-century. At the stumps of the day, Sibley-Stokes set up the 126 runs partnership for the unbroken fourth wicket.