The hosts England were fighting patiently on the crucial fourth day of the Southampton Test against West Indies, but the Caribbean bowlers ended the day with the big smile.
After starting the penultimate day of this opening game of the three-match Test series on the overnight score 15/0 (trailing by 99 runs), the hosts were once batting on 249/3 in the third session of the day. But they lost the next five wickets in just 30 runs and the English side finished the day on 284/8 with the lead of 170 runs.
English openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley added 57 runs on the fourth day morning as they set up the 72 runs partnership before Burns lost his wicket on 42 runs. At the lunch, England were battling on 79/1.
Sibley put 41 runs partnership with Joe Denly for the second wicket, where Sibley scored 50 runs before losing his wicket. Then, Denly and Zak Crawley added 38 runs partnership for the third wicket before Denly was dismissed on 29 runs. England were batting on 168/3 at the tea break.
Crawley and captain Ben Stokes built up a strong partnership of 98 runs for the fourth wicket. Their much-needed partnership brought back the hosts into the game. Crawley hit his second Test fifty and scored his highest Test knock of 76 runs. Meanwhile, just like the first innings (43), Stokes again lost his wicket on his 40s as this time he scored 46 runs.
After losing the set batsmen Crawley and Stokes, England also lost Buttler, Bess and Pope cheaply
While once it was seeming that England would end the day four in a comfortable position, the dismissals of Crawley and Stokes triggered England’s late batting collapse. Then, wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler (9), Dom Bess (3) and Ollie Pope (12) lost their wickets cheaply.
At the stumps of the day, Jofra Archer was batting on five runs while Mark Wood was also not out on one run.
Among the Caribbean bowlers, Shannon Gabriel (3/62) bagged three wickets while the skipper and the hero of the first innings of this match Jason Holder (1/43) picked up one wicket. Also, Roston Chase (2/71) and Alzarri Joseph (2/40) scalped two wickets each.