Late surge from Windies bowlers leaves 1st Test hanging in the balance

Attritional batting from England’s top three and a fluent 98-run partnership between Ben Stokes and Zak Crawley took England into a strong position before a late flurry of wickets put the visitors in charge heading into the fifth day.

Having weathered a tough period the previous evening, England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley resumed, faced with the task of eliminating the first-innings deficit. Both batted with determination and patience but struggled to score freely, particularly from Roston Chase’s off-spin. Something had to give at some point though, and eventually Burns was dismissed for 42 as he failed to get on top of a cut shot and spooned a short and wide ball from Chase to point.

Sibley continued to battle through, finally reaching his half-century from 161 deliveries with just four boundaries. The very next ball he was bowled by Shannon Gabriel, but he earned a reprieve as replays showed the bowler to have over-stepped. He lasted only two more balls before feathering a catch through to Shane Dowrich down the leg side with England just one run behind West Indies.

Zak Crawley

Joe Denly and Zak Crawley took the hosts into the lead, with the 22-year-old Crawley using his feet well to get on top of Chase. Denly was dismissed for 29 – the 14th time in 28 Test innings that he has fallen between 15 and 40 – as some extra bounce from the spinner causing him to chip a catch to short mid-wicket.

England’s most dominant period of the match thus far followed, as Ben Stokes and Crawley accelerated as they looked to build the lead into something substantial. Their partnership was worth 98 in 25.1 overs by the time Jason Holder found Stokes’ outside edge, with the lead having stretched to 135.

But the skipper’s wicket brought two more, as Alzarri Joseph struck twice to remove first Crawley – the ball bouncing steeply to take the shoulder of the bat – and then Buttler – driving loosely to a ball which tailed back into him – to put the visitors back on top.

Ollie Pope and Dom Bess looked to offer some resistance, but the pair were both bowled by Shannon Gabriel in the same over to leave England with just two wickets in hand and the lead worth 170 at stumps. Jofra Archer and Mark Wood remained unbeaten at the close, on 5* and 1* respectively.

(International Cricket Council Report)