England's Ben Stokes plays a shot on the fourth day of the first Test cricket against West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, on Saturday
England's Ben Stokes plays a shot on the fourth day of the first Test cricket against West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, on Saturday
AFP

Southampton

England in a sort of trouble as they were 265 for six against West Indies in the Wisden Trophy fourth day of the 1st Test, at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, at the time of going to the press.

Earlier, it looked the battle was on as the teams fought for ascendancy in what is turning out to be a see-saw battle in the 1st Test in Southampton. At the Lunch break, England were 79/1, having reduced the deficit to 35 runs. They took the lead after an hour’s play in the second session. West Indies, despite an approach on the conservative side, continued picking wickets at regular intervals. England reached 165/3 at the Tea break, with a lead of 54 runs.

England's run-rate in the second innings was a paltry 2.4 per over. The going was so slow that spectators might have fallen asleep had they been allowed into the empty Rose Bowl.

Two wickets fell in the middle session, when 89 runs were scored in 30 overs, and they were both tame departures.

Dom Sibley (50) had just reached his second half-century in tests when he nicked behind down the leg side off a delivery by Shannon Gabriel that rose to the batsman's hip.

Joe Denly's demise was even softer, the No. 3 batsman chipping spinner Roston Chase straight to captain Jason Holder at short midwicket to depart for 29.

Zak Crawley was on 38 and stand-in captain Ben Stokes was yet to get off the mark after 15 balls. With three sessions left, the tourists look the most likely winners of the first test match since the return of international cricket following a four-month absence because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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