West Indies has an edge to win 1st test against England even From the top 3, England and a flowing 98-year partnership between Ben Stokes and Zak Crawley put England in a strong position before a late flood of gates brought the responsible visitors to the fifth day.
After the English openers, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley had survived a difficult time the evening before, they were again faced with the task of eliminating the deficit in the first innings.
Both fought with determination and patience but struggled to score freely, especially due to Roston Chase’s off-spin. At some point, however, something had to give way, and Burns was finally fired for 42 because he couldn’t make a cut and spooned a short and wide ball from Chase to the point.
Sibley continued to struggle and finally reached its half-century of 161 deliveries with only four borders. The next ball got him bowled by Shannon Gabriel, but he deserved a break when reps showed that the bowler had broken. He only had two more balls before he caught Shane Dowrich on the leg side, with England just one run behind the West Indies.
Joe Denly and Zak Crawley took the hosts into the lead, with 22-year-old Crawley making good use of his feet to get on Chase. Denly was released for 29 – the 14th time in 28 test innings that he fell between 15 and 40 – as an additional rebound of the spinner that caused him to catch a short mid-wicket.
England’s most dominant phase of the game followed when Ben Stokes and Crawley accelerated to expand the lead to something essential. Their partnership was worth 98 in 25.1 overs when Jason Holder found Stokes’ outside edge, extending the lead to 135.
But the skipper’s wicket brought two more when Alzarri hit Joseph twice to remove Crawley first – the ball that ricocheted off to grab the bat’s shoulder – and then Buttler – who easily drove to a ball that hit him drove back – to bring the visitors back on top.
Ollie Pope and Dom Bess wanted to put up some resistance, but both were bowled by Shannon Gabriel in the same game to leave England with only two gates in hand and a lead of 170 in stumps. Jofra Archer and Mark Wood ended up unbeaten with 5 * and 1 * respectively.