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12-Jul-2020 04:08:00 GMT
Eng vs WI - 1st Test, Southampton, day 4

England slump leaves West Indies on top

Southampton: England suffered a late collapse in Southampton to close day four on 284-8 - giving them a lead of 170 over West Indies - to leave the first Test delicately poised.

Having erased a first-innings deficit of 114, the hosts appeared to be gaining the upper hand as they reached 249-3, Zak Crawley combining with stand-in captain Ben Stokes to put on a partnership of 98 for the fourth wicket.

The pair built on the good work done by openers Dom Sibley (50) and Rory Burns (42) but West Indies fought back impressively in the final session, Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph each taking two of the five wickets to go down.

Stokes (46), however, fell for a second time in the match to opposite number Jason Holder when seemingly going well, steering the West Indies skipper to one of two catchers positioned in the gully region.

As for Crawley, the right-hander's impressive innings came to an end on 76 when he chipped a return catch back to Joseph, who then followed up by bowling Jos Buttler for nine.

Gabriel produced a fine spell in fading light to bowl both Dom Bess and Ollie Pope, the latter via an inside edge, and though England avoided being dismissed prior to stumps, they had undoubtedly let slip a glorious opportunity after battling so hard to forge their way in front.

Brief scores:
England 204 (Stokes 43, Holder 6-42, Gabriel 4-62) and 284 for 8 (Crawley 76, Sibley 50, Gabriel 3-62) lead West Indies 314 (Brathwaite 65, Dowrich 61, Stokes 4-49) by 170 runs

Burns and Sibley continued on from the overnight total of 15 without loss in the early stages of Saturday's play, pushing their opening stand on to 72.

Spinner Roston Chase finally claimed the initial breakthrough for West Indies, aided by Burns hitting a long hop to point, while he also tempted Joe Denly to chip a simple catch to mid-wicket. Having reached 29, England's number three once again failed to capitalise on a promising start.

Sibley did carry on to register his first half-century on home soil in Tests, though departed soon after reaching the landmark.

Reprieved when bowled off a no ball earlier in the same over, he was caught down leg by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich off the bowling of Gabriel, whose closing burst saw him finish with figures of 3-62.


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