1st Test England Vs West Indies at Rose Bowel, Southampton,England
England First Innings 204 All Out in 67.3 Overs (BA Stokes 43 ,JC Buttler 35, DM Bess 31*, RJ Burns 30, JO Holder 6/42, ST Gabriel 4/62 ) and 2nd Innings 284/8 in 104 overs (Z Crawly 76, DP Sibly 50, BA Stokes 46, RJ Burns 42, ST Gabriel 3/62, AS Josef 2/40, RL Chase 2/71)
West Indies 318 in 102 Overs (KC Brathwaite 65, SO Dorwich 61, RL Chase 47, SSJ Brooks 39, JD Campbell 28, BA Stokes 4/49, JM Anderson 3/62, DM Bess 2/51)
West Indies playing to a plan looked very disciplined in bowling and fielding on sun shining day four at Rose Bowl. England with relatively young and little tested batting unit rallied around showing glimpses of hope. But with only two wickets remaining and that two also of tail enders 170 runs lead does not appear dependable. Unless West Indies bats too badly the tourists are well on course of winning the test. The handy 114 runs first innings lead mattered.
On day four wicket slowed down considerably and dried a bit. Some deliveries were gripping and turning a bit from Chase. Burns (42), Sibley (50), Stokes (46) and Craaly (76) all dug in and were looking reasonably safe. But West Indian bowlers kept plugging away at the right length and did not panic. None of English batsmen had patience to grind and graft longer. All lost patience at some stage. West Indies grabbed 5 wickets for 35 runs in the last session most with the second new ball.
English lead is 170. We are not sure that Archer, Wood and Anderson can add too many. West Indies should score whatever required batting sensibly to win the match. Stokes men will need bowling out of the skins to overturn Caribbean control of the match. That possibility appears very much unlikely.
Cricket however is a funny game. The bright sunny morning in cricket not necessary always shows the day. Hope West Indies will not panic and throw away the golden opportunity of going ahead in the series. If the get across what a brilliant win it would be.
BDST: 1147 HRS, JUL 12, 2020