England vs West Indies, Day 1: List of key takeaways
England ended on top after losing early wickets on Day 1 of the third Test at Old Trafford. Both sides made some changes in the XI for the series decider, as they look to grab 40 WTC points. While England recalled Jofra Archer and James Anderson, the visitors drafted spinner Rahkeem Cornwall in place of Alzarri Joseph. Here are the key takeaways.
How did Day 1 pan out?
Looking at the overcast conditions, West Indies captain Jason Holder elected to field. England were reduced to 92/3 with both Joe Root (17) and Ben Stokes (20) departing early. However, half-century by Rory Burns (57) brought back the momentum to an extent. A 136-run stand between Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler propelled England to 258/4 before bad light resulted in stumps.
England's middle order showed resistance on Day 1
England's top order faltered at the start as West Indian pacers drew the first blood. Meanwhile, Burns brought up his first half-century of the series. After his dismissal, Pope put England in the driving seat with an unbeaten 91. He decisive footwork against spinners grabbed eyeballs. Wicket-keeper Jos Buttler (56*) too rose to occasion, having scored his first 50+ score after 15 consecutive innings.
Yet another ill-timed run-out for Joe Root
Joe Root's run-drought in Test cricket continued. He was in search of a constructive knock when a direct hit from Roston Chase ran him out. Notably, Root fell short of the crease in the second consecutive innings. This was his fourth run-out as a skipper, more than any other England captain. Besides, Root is yet to score his maiden ton after November 2019.
Kemar Roach fired for West Indies at the start
West Indies opted for an extra spinner in form of Rahkeem Cornwall, looking at the nature of the Old Trafford surface. However, pace spearhead Kemar Roach provided the initial breakthrough in the first over itself. His compatriot Shannon Gabriel limped off midway through his fourth over due to a hamstring issue, but returned later on. Roston Chase removed Rory Burns, but Cornwall remained wicketless.
A searing in-swinger by Roach to dismiss Ben Stokes
Kemar Roach's searing in-swinger to Ben Stokes stole the limelight. He came around the wicket in the 35th over to create the gap between the bat and pad. The tactic worked as Roach ran through his stumps. With this, Roach registered his 199th Test scalp.