Wednesday, 15 April 2015

England vs West Indies, First test

Day one of the first test started with an uncomfortably familiar morning session for England.  Put into bat they limped to 49-3 at lunch with Trott, Cook and Ballance all recording low scores.  From this position you would expect one of the top teams to tighten the screws on England but West Indies aren’t in this league.  Bell and Root put together a partnership approaching 200 and England recovered.  Root was out for 83 which brought Stokes to the wicket and he scored 71* at nearly a run a ball.  Bell was out just before the close for a brilliant 143 and England finished the day on 341-5.

Day two started with another poor morning.  With a good platform to build from England should have pushed on to 450+ but were bowled out before lunch for 399.  This was a decent score but at this stage it didn’t look like a match winning one.  In reply West Indies never really got going and England chipped away with wickets at regular intervals.  Throughout the day England bowled very well and kept things tight.  The day ended with WI 155-4 but they still had the youngster Blackwood and the veteran Chanderpaul at the crease.

Day three continued in the same vein, West Indies occupied the crease and England picked up the odd wicket here and there.  Blackwood went on to make his maiden test century and finished unbeaten on 112 but no one else passed 50 and the innings ended in a hurry, all out for 295. 
England had a healthy lead of 104 but West Indies started well with a brilliant opening spell from Taylor who removed both openers, failures for Trott and Cook again.  After that they steadily built the lead, Bell was run out cheaply but Ballance and Root put a decent unbeaten partnership of 64 to push England’s lead to 220.

After three days this has been a good test match.  England are well on top and a couple of decent partnerships should put us in a winning position.  However West Indies have proved hard to dislodge with the bat and have bowled very well in spells.

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