Embattled Holder calls on West Indies to front up


Embattled Holder calls on West Indies to front up

West Indies was 44-1 in reply when rain ended play early and saved the tourists from having to face a full final session under the floodlights at Edgbaston.

Stoneman replaced the dropped Keaton Jennings, a former team-mate at Durham, in the lone adjustment to the team that beat South Africa by 177 runs in the fourth Test at Old Trafford earlier this month to complete a 3-1 series win.

The loss was the sixth heaviest ever for the West Indies in its once-proud test history.

Their bowling attack, spearheaded by Shannon Gabriel, who head coach Stuart Law reckons is the fastest bowler out there, has been supplemented by the return of Kemar Roach, back and firing off the back of an exceptional first class season for Barbados.

England captain Joe Root was thrilled that his side triumphed in their first day-night Test match, and said: "A very remarkable day, very pleasing". This proved to be record-breaking as they had never lost as many wickets in a day prior to this match. Their top two worst defeats have also come against England, by an innings and 283 runs at Headingley in 2007 and an innings and 237 runs at The Oval in 1957. With his fifth ball of the resumption, he found wicked lift from a good length for Ben Stokes in the gully to snaffle a spliced edge.

"To have the two leading wicket-takers and the leading runscorer in the side, you have to be careful not to take that for granted", the England captain added.

His new-ball colleague James Anderson is the only Englishman ahead of him with 492 wickets.

Players featured for their county teams during a round of day-night Championship matches in June, when Westley's title-chasing Essex beat Middlesex at Chelmsford, but there are concerns among some about using the pink ball.

"It is important we regroup and get ready for the second Test match, we have nothing to lose". And the batsmen were fragile, save only for Jermaine Blackwood, who hit 79 not out off 76 balls in the first innings in an entertaining but ultimately inconsequential innings.

"[But] we've got to just believe, we have got a few days off now, it's ideal that we use them wisely, sit and talk and formulate plans to counteract England". One by one the punters ran to the corner of the stand - a group of sheep was followed by scores of chickens, some Mexican banditos and whatever the collective noun for Fred Flintstones is. He may not be offered quite so many half-volleys in Australia, should this innings go on to book his place on the Ashes tour, but it is a Test batsman's duty to take advantage when the going is in your favour - a lesson that his senior partner demonstrated in no uncertain terms.

Blackwood, however, drove first-change Toby Roland-Jones for two superb straight fours.