Jason Holder
Jason Holder
ICC - Twitter

West Indies bowlers lived up to the billing of being arguably the finest since the great days as they restricted England to 106/5 at Lunch on Day 2 of the first Test at Ageas Bowl on Thursday.

Both Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder scalped two wickets each in the first session as England batsmen struggled to cope up with the visitors' impeccable line and length in the gloomy conditions of Southampton.

Rory Burns and Joe Denly began the proceedings for the hosts after just 17.4 overs were bowled on the opening day due to rain wherein Gabriel had picked one wicket for the visitors.

Denly was the first to depart as he became Gabriel's second scalp of the innings, being comprehensively bowled for 18.

Three runs later, Burns was trapped LBW by Gabriel, who seemed to be enjoying bowling in the overcast conditions, despite the pitch considered to be batsmen friendly.

Holder then took over from Gabriel and he stunned the English middle-order by getting rid of Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope in a span of five overs. Crawley was adjudged LBW for 10 while Pope edged the ball into the hands of the wicket-keeper for 12, leaving England reeling at 87/5.

Things could have been even better for the visitors as stand-in captain Ben Stokes hit an Alzarri Joseph delivery high in the air, towards Kemar Roach at fine leg in the 41st over. But luckily for the home side, the ball popped out of his hands as Roach dived forward to reach the falling cherry.

Stokes (21*) and his deputy Jos Buttler (9*) stemmed the flow of wickets as England went into the break without any further hiccups.

Brief Scores: England: 106/5 (Stokes 21*; Gabriel 3/38, Holder 2/24) vs West Indies

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