A great bowling effort in the final hour has helped West Indies to make a comeback at the end of day 4 of the first Test match played at Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Saturday.
Starting on the overnight score of 15 for 0, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley looked solid with their defence technique. Both England openers hit the bad balls away for boundaries to keep the pressure on the West Indies bowlers. It was a decent session for England as they were 62 for 0 at first drinks break.
The West Indies bowlers kept it tight after the drinks break as Sibley and Burns were struggling. Before the stroke of lunch break, Roston Chase got the breakthrough as Burns played a loose stroke to be caught by Campbell. The England openers added 72 runs. Joe Denly and Sibley faced tough times as the pitch had some uneven bounce. The hosts went into the lunch break at 79 for 1.
After the lunch break, Sibley reached his half-century off 161 balls. In the same over, Sibley survived as Shannon Gabriel delivered a no-ball. Sibley was tickled down the leg by Gabriel. Sibley and Denly added 41 runs for the 2nd wicket. Zak Crawley looked in decent touch right from word go. He played the pacers and spinners reasonably well. Joe Denly was dismissed with a soft dismissal caught by Jason Holder at short mid-wicket. Crawley survived 2 chances that West Indies could not capitalize. At tea, England was 168 for 3.
In the 3rd session, Stokes got off the mark from his 19th delivery. Crawley looked in great touch and reached his half-century from 80 balls. Stokes took the attack to Roston Chase putting West Indies bowlers under pressure. With needing something special, Holder went to the 2nd new ball in the 82nd over.
Stokes and Crawley played with intent keeping scoreboard ticking. West Indies captain Jason Holder got the England captain Stokes for the 2nd time in the match with a catch by Hope at gully.
Stokes and Crawley added 98 runs for the 4th wicket. Joseph picked wickets of Crawley and Jos Buttler to bring back West Indies into the match.
Dom Bess was dropped by Dowrich and then survived an LBW shout. The experienced Shannon Gabriel dismissed Bess and Pope in the same over with beauties. England ended the 4th day on 284 for 8 with a lead of 170 runs.
The fifth and final days of play promises to be an interesting one. With the lead of 170 runs and pitch having uneven bounce, both teams have equal chances.
England 204 in 67.3 overs ( Ben Stokes 43, Buttler 35, Bess 31, Holder 6/42, Gabriel 4/62) and 284 for 8 in 104 overs ( Crawley 76, Stokes 46, Sibley 50, Gabriel 3/62, Joseph 2/40) lead West Indies 318 in 102 overs ( Braithwaite 65, Dowrich 61, Chase 47, Stokes 4/47, Anderson 3/62) England 204 in 67.3 overs ( Ben Stokes 43, Buttler 35, Bess 31, Holder 6/42, Gabriel 4/62) by 170 runs.