The 18 wickets on Day 2 was nearly too much to handle for such an avid fan. It seems that an entire test match elapsed in this day alone. As the West Indies creeps closer to securing victory over England, the English seem to roar right at the end.
West Indies started batting at the beginning of Day 2 and are still batting at the end of it. Oh, and yeah, there’s the whole England all out for 77 in between. Yup, 77. England did well to prevent West Indies from going over 300, bowling them out for 289, but that soon became a mountain for the English batsmen.
West Indian pacer Kemar Roach rattled England, picking up a fiver in just 27 deliveries, giving away only four runs! After West Indies decided not to force the follow-on, it seemed they were going to make England cry forever as the openers put up a fifty-partnership yet again. However, the wickets tally wasn’t complete yet, as five wickets fell in the space of nine runs for the Windies. By stumps on Day 2, West Indies had amassed a score of 127-6 in 36 overs, leading by a large 334 runs.
With only two wickets remaining at the start of play on Day 2, Shimron Hetmyer prevented those wickets from falling early, as he batted for another 12 overs. By the time the innings ended, Hetmyer was dismissed for the team’s best 81(109), comprising of nine fours and two sixes. But his batting wasn’t done for the day.
After a middle-order collapse from the West Indies in the second innings, Hetmyer came on when the side was 61-5 and put up a fifty-partnership with Sam Dowrich, scoring 31(43) (scoring two sixes and two fours) before being dismissed by Sam Curran.
West Indies’ openers:
Long in recent history has West Indies had batting issues in test cricket, but the opening pair in Kraigg Brathwaite and debutant John Campbell seem to play as if they were consistent and experienced. The confidence in which Campbell would sweep Moeen Ali or how easily Campbell would smash the spinners for six was fearless. Two innings back-to-back, the two gave the West Indies what they wanted, a stable, reliable lead in batting. Today, the two put up a 52-run partnership from 98 balls before Brathwaite was dismissed for 24(49), victim to another Ali lbw, and later Campbell was gone for 33(64).
In yesterday’s article, I said Ali would need to perform with the bat to make up for his bowling performance in the first innings. Though he didn’t fare with the bat (then again, neither did the rest of the England team), he did make up with the ball itself again today. In his twelve overs, Ali picked up the three wickets of Brathwaite, Darren Bravo and Roston Chase for a duck. His economy was also much better with ending the day at 3.41.
The man of the day. Five wickets, 4.1 overs, four runs. Outstanding figures. Even the greatest bowlers don’t come close to this. If West Indies goes on to win this test, it only seems right Roach receives Man of the Match.
Roston Chase is normally the batsmen who sets the anchor for the Windies, causing opponents frustration. But when the West Indies were 61-3, having lost the three wickets for nine runs, Chase gave his wicket away, edging Ali’s delivery to Ben Stokes (can’t keep that guy out of the game), walking back with not a single run in his name.
Right, so two of your top-order batsmen have been dismissed in quick succession, the captain needs to go and fix things, bringing the game back under his control.
Well, that didn’t last long. After 14 deliveries, the England captain was given out lbw off of the bowling of the opponent captain, Jason Holder. After him, three more wickets fell in the space of five runs, including Roach’s two-in-two.
West Indies will continue batting the third innings on Day 3 with a fine lead of 339 with four wickets remaining. Settled Dowrich will be at the crease on 27(42)* while Captain Holder will join him on 7(5)*.