West Indies start brightly after England make 311
Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell scored freely as West Indies advanced to 44 without loss at lunch in reply to England’s 311 on day two of the first test in North Sound, Antigua on Wednesday.
Though Campbell was beaten by a couple of times outside off stump, the batters were generally untroubled by England opening bowlers Chris Woakes and Craig Overton at Viv Richards Stadium.
England captain Joe Root had seen enough after five overs, bringing Mark Wood, the team’s fastest bowler, into the attack for a quick stint before the break.
Wood cranked up into gear quickly, delivering a 150-kilometres-per-hour ball in his first over, but the batters had few issues surviving to the break, with Brathwaite 29 and Campbell 14.
It did not take long for commentators to remind viewers that England left the experienced James Anderson and Stuart Broad, arguably their best two bowlers, out of the tour squad.
Earlier, Jonny Bairstow (140) made his highest score since 2016, but England lost their final four wickets for 43 runs as the tail failed to cope with the second new ball on another breezy morning in the Caribbean.
Fast bowler Jayden Seales (4-79) dismissed Woakes (28) and Overton (0) in the same over before Alzarri Joseph got Mark Wood (1).
Bairstow was the last man out when he was well caught by Jason Holder at backward point off Joseph for 140 before leaving the field to warm applause.
Seales finished with 4-79, though Holder (2-24) was the pick of the bowlers, hitting the spot almost every ball and conceding at barely one run an over.
A 300-plus score was reasonable for England given they had slumped to 48-4 early on the opening day.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Additional reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ed Osmond)
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