WI vs Eng | Root, Lawrence take England to strong 244/3 on day one
Joe Root compiled his second straight century, an unbeaten 119, as England batted their way to a commanding position in the second Test against West Indies in Barbados on Wednesday.
Even though Dan Lawrence fell for 91 with the final ball of the first day, England took the honours after winning the toss, reaching 244 for three at stumps on a flat Kensington Oval pitch in Bridgetown.
The strip was criticised by several ex-players in the commentary box for being too docile.
After a draw on a slow track in Antigua last week, many hoped for a livelier strip on a ground where none of the seven previous Tests were drawn, not that Root had any complaints after making his 25th Test century.
He could, though, have been out relatively cheaply, the captain surviving a dropped caught-behind chance on 34, which came not long after he appeared to nick a Jason Holder delivery to the wicketkeeper.
West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite opted not to review the on-field not out call.
Serenaded by a singing Barmy Army that periodically chanted “Joe Root” to the tune of the Beatles’ Hey Jude, the No. 3 worked the ball around at will.
West Indies’ largely fruitless day in the field went from bad to worse in the final session when Alzarri Joseph failed to take a sharp but regulation chance that would have sent Lawrence packing for 72.
The faux pas left bowler Seales struggling to contain his frustration, but the home team’s mood improved when Lawrence spooned a simple catch to cover off Holder to end a 164-run partnership with Root.
Root has scored more than 2,000 runs since the start of 2021, nearly double the next best haul, and has made eight centuries, his only relatively lean patch coming in a losing Ashes series in Australia.
Seales got West Indies off to a good start when he removed first Test centurion Zak Crawley for a seven-ball duck, beating the 24-year-old with an outswinger that was caught-behind.
Fellow opener Alex Lees, coming off two failures in Antigua, showed determination not to give his wicket away cheaply, playing with understandable caution.
He made 30 before being out lbw to spinner Veerasammy Permaul, lasting 138 balls and playing his part in taking the shine off the new ball.
England made two changes from the first Test, with pace bowlers Matt Fisher and Saqib Mahmood making their test debuts after coming in for Craig Overton and Mark Wood.
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