The last-wicket pair of Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood saved England from what could be a significant embarrassment after the tourists suffered yet another batting collapse on Day 1 of the ongoing third Test against the West Indies at Grenada’s National Cricket Stadium.
Leach (41 no) and Mahmood (49) stitched a remarkable 90-run stand for the 10th wicket, helping the visitors to recover from 114/9 to a respectable 204 all out when Mahmood was denied his maiden Test fifty after being bowled in the final over of the day.
Leach smashed five boundaries in his 141-ball stay, while Mahmood cracked five boundaries, including a six, before falling with just two balls left in the day against part-time offspinner Jermaine Blackwood.
Earlier, with plenty of swing and seam movement on offer, the West Indies seamers exploited the conditions pretty well, dismantling English top and middle-order.
Jayden Seales picked up three wickets for 40 in 17 overs while the likes of Kemar Roach (2/41), Kyle Mayers (2/13), Alzarri Joseph (2/33) all bagged a couple of scalps each.
“I thought West Indies bowled exceptionally well, and the wicket assisted them. We lost the first two sessions but got that last session as a win. You can see some of the balls people got out, too they were good balls. There was a lot in the wicket,” said Mahmood after the end of the day’s play as quoted by BBC.
“I think tomorrow it’s a case of being disciplined and holding lengths. They only got a few wickets in the morning but reaped rewards in the afternoon. We have got to drag the batters forward. That first session will be crucial,” he added.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
From 1⃣1⃣4⃣-9⃣ to 2⃣0⃣4⃣ all out…
Incredible work for the team 👏
Match Centre: https://t.co/7ZZAhn1zxv
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) March 24, 2022
This partnership between Saqib Mahmood and Jack Leach is higher than any England opening stand in the men's Ashes since 2013#WIvENG
— Ben Gardner (@Ben_Wisden) March 24, 2022
Only 12th time in Test history and second time for England that a Number 11 batter (Saqib Mahmood -49 runs) is the highest scorer in the innings. The first England player to do it was Steve Harmison (42 vs South Africa in Cape Town in 2005). #WIvEng
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) March 24, 2022
Jack Leach has a very very simple method .. Minimal movements .. Stares at the ball closely .. Worth following I reckon .. #WIvENG
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 24, 2022
– Garrett & Evans, 1885
– Leach & Mahmood, 2022
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) March 24, 2022
— Fatima 🏴 (@Major_Basheer) March 24, 2022
Fantastic day for the bowlers. First time the boys have bowled out a major opposition in one day since last years 1st test vs 🇵🇰 in 🇯🇲 which ended in victory. #GoodOmens
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 24, 2022
— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) March 24, 2022
Jack Leach is such an admirable cricketer and character. Has worked bloody hard on his batting with Marcus Trescothick for years, probably knowing how easy England have found it to leave him out. With Pakistan in December, he's an important player England need to nurture further.
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) March 24, 2022
— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) March 24, 2022
This England Test innings is the first time ever in Test cricket where No.11 has the highest score and No.10 has the second highest score.
Saqib Mahmood 49, Jack Leach 41*#WIvENG
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) March 25, 2022