Published on 9 Mar 2022 8:32 pm (UK Time)
Johnny Bairstow hits an unbeaten 109 as England battle back from 48-4 to end day one 268-6.
Joe Root won the toss on a sunny morning in Antigua and had no hesitation in batting on a good-looking pitch at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Since Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook’s retirement, England has failed to find an established opening pair in Tests.
Today, it was Alex Lees and Zak Crawley, who opened the batting for Root’s side.Embed from Getty Images
Crawley had opened the batting in the last three Tests in the Ashes Down Under, while Lees was making his Test Debut.
Unfortunately, the opening pair failed to do their job, as Lees was trapped lbw for 4 by Kemar Roach, with the score at 12-1.Embed from Getty Images
Crawley followed soon after at 17-2 when he was caught behind by Josh Da Silva for 8. This was Jayden Seales’s first wicket of the innings.
Things got even worse for the tourists at 27-3 when their captain was bowled attempting to leave an in-swinging delivery.Embed from Getty Images
And to rub more salt in the wounds, it was soon 48-4, when Dan Lawrence pushed at Jason Holder’s out-swinging delivery and got an outside edge to Jermaine Blackwood at third slip.Embed from Getty Images
This left England in a hole on the first morning in the Test Series, and once again, we were starting to see shades of that nightmare Ashes tour.
But thankfully, England’s middle-order showed up after lunch, as Bairstow and Ben Stokes shared a partnership of 67, taking them to 115-4.
That was until Stoke was castled by a beautiful in-swinging yorker for 36 by Seales. England was still in a spot of bother at 115-5.Embed from Getty Images
Ben Foakes was picked in the squad mainly for his keeping skills, but his innings of 42 showed what a capable batsman he is.Embed from Getty Images
Foakes and Bairstow managed to dig England out of a hole, with a partnership of 99, taking the score to 214-5.Embed from Getty Images
But sadly, it could not continue as Foakes was out LBW. The Surrey keeper called for a DRS review, but the decision remained in favor of Umpire, Gregory Brathwaite, and he was on his way back to the pavilion, with the game evenly poised at 214-6.
Bairstow raced to his 8th Test match century, with a slog sweep just behind square leg.Embed from Getty Images
Woakes also got going, with a couple of sumptuous drives down the ground and through extra cover.
England finished day one on 268-6. Bairstow and Woakes will be hoping to build on the tourist’s first innings, while the West Indies will look to skittle them out for under 300 if they canEmbed from Getty Images
What will happen on Day Two?
Tune into World In Sport to find out.