West Indies captain Jason Holder and pacer Shannon Gabriel bowled inspirational spells on Day 2 of the first Test against England at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. While Holder registered his best figures in Test cricket, Gabriel too shimmered with the red-ball.
England’s overnight scorers, Rory Burns and Joe Denly started, the day with a hope to build a partnership, but they could only add 11 runs before Gabriel drew the first blood in the opening session. Top-order batsman Denly received a ripper, and his defence was shattered. Soon after, Burns too became the victim of Gabriel as the left-handed batter was adjudged leg-before wicket.
As if two blows in the initial overs were not enough, England yet again received rock-bottom when they lost two more batsmen in the form of Zack Crawley and Ollie Pope. Holder dismissed Crawley for 10 followed by Pope for 12, and all of a sudden hosts were struggling at 87/5.
However, then English stand-in skipper Ben Stokes along with attacking batsman Jos Buttler took their side from hot waters and added a critical 67-run stand. But it was Holder again who provided the breakthrough. He got both Stokes and Buttler caught out behind the wickets.
In the end, England could only reach 204. Holder finished off with six wickets in 20 overs. He gave 42 runs and went past his previous best of 6 for 59. Gabriel, on the other hand, picked up four wickets in 15.3 overs.
West Indies openers Kraigg Braithwaite and John Campbell started the Caribbean innings. Unlike England, the visitors had a steady start as the duo added 43 runs on the board before England’s highest wicket-taker in the longest format, James Anderson, sent Campbell back into the pavilion.
At the end of day’s play, West Indies reached 57-1 with Braithwaite, and Shai Hope remained unbeaten on 20 and 3, respectively.