Bridgetown (Barbados), Jan 24: James Anderson spearheaded a late England assault with the second new ball to reduce the West Indies to 264 for eight at stumps on the opening day of the first Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados. With long-standing fast bowling partner Stuart Broad dropped from the final 11 to accommodate an additional spinner, Anderson took on the double role of stock and strike bowler to finish the day with the impressive figures of four for 33 from 24 miserly overs.
Three of those wickets came in an eventful final session, including two with the second new ball as a previously placid pitch suddenly offered is concerting bounce to a West Indies middle and lower order which crumbled against the renewed energy and hostility of the visitors. Having chosen to bat first despite selecting four faster bowlers in their line-up, including captain Jason Holder, the hosts were paced by half-centuries from Shai Hope, Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer to the relative comfort of 240 for four in the final session.
Anderson, the most successful fast bowler in Test history with a tally of wickets that now stands at 569, had Hope caught behind off the inside edge for 57 to claim his first wicket of what had previously been a frustrating day for the senior seamer. Chase and Hetmyer put on 56 for the fifth wicket but it was when Anderson struck again with the second new ball, Chase caught at slip by England captain Joe Root for 54, that the floodgates were opened.
He quickly added the scalps of wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich and Holder before Ben Stokes dismissed Kemar Roach to what proved the final ball of the day, Root taking his third catch of the innings at slip.
It was Stokes' third wicket of the innings after he removed obdurate opener Kraigg Brathwaite (40) and the experienced Darren Bravo, playing his first Test for more than two years, within a matter of minutes during an afternoon session shortened by a light shower. (AFP) AQS
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