SOUTHAMPTON: West Indies captain Jason Holder posted career-best test bowling figures with six wickets as his side dominated the second day of the first test against England yesterday.
Making full use of the murky conditions, all-rounder Holder took six for 42 and paceman Shannon Gabriel claimed four wickets as England were dismissed for 204.
Ben Stokes, captaining England for the first time in the absence of Joe Root, top-scored with 43 but might be regretting his decision to bat first having won the toss.
West Indies showed great discipline and rode their luck at times in reply as they reached 57-1 to put themselves in a decent position going into the third day at the Ageas Bowl when an improving weather forecast should make batting easier.
James Anderson removed opener John Campbell for 28 but Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope survived some express pace from Mark Wood before bad light ended the day’s play.
England are hosting the first international cricket-match after a 117-day absence because of Covid-19.
England began the day on 35 for one after 17 overs were completed on Wednesday, but Gabriel struck twice in the first hour having removed Dom Sibley on day one.
In the sixth over he got a 90mph delivery to nip back and splatter Joe Denly’s off stump and in his next over the 32-year-old trapped Rory Burns (30) in front of his stumps with a full delivery that was given lbw on review.
Stokes started confidently, pulling Gabriel to the boundary, but Zak Crawley struggled to 10 before Holder claimed his first wicket, angling one back in to strike the pad.
Dom Bess’s 31-run cameo helped England past 200 before Gabriel bowled Anderson.