England vs West Indies, Day 4: List of key takeaways
Eventual breakthroughs made West Indies bounce back on Day 4 of the ongoing first Test at the Ageas Oval. Although the hosts dominated the first two sessions, the Caribbean bowlers scalped five wickets in the final hour. The match is evenly poised at the moment as all three outcomes are possible tomorrow. Here are the key takeaways from Day 4.
England resumed Day 4 on 15/0 after the opening pair of Dominic Sibley and Rory Burns remained unbeaten overnight. The duo shared a 72-run stand before Burns departed on 42. Meanwhile, Sibley scored a defiant 164-ball 50. Zak Crawley, who grabbed eyeballs with his sturdy 76, added 98 runs with Ben Stokes (46). England lead by 170 runs after finishing on 284/8 at stumps.
The riveting battle of top two Test all-rounders has made headlines throughout the match. Both Jason Holder and Ben Stokes have been leading from the front. However, the Caribbean skipper has gained the edge over Stokes after dismissing him twice. Earlier, Stokes sent Holder packing in the first innings. It will be interesting to see if Stokes squares up when Windies come to bat.
Jason Holder has dismissed the opposition captain on 15 occasions in Test cricket, joint-second highest with Imran Khan. Besides, Australia's Richie Benaud holds the top spot with 18 such scalps. Others on the list are Garry Sobers (12) and Daniel Vettori (11).
Although the England batsmen dominated the entire two sessions, the Caribbean fast bowlers turned the tables eventually on Day 4. As the hosts looked set on 249/3, Holder provided West Indies the all-important breakthrough in the form of Stokes. Shortly after, Alzarri Joseph removed Zak Crawley and Jos Buttler. Shannon Gabriel too bowled out Dominic Bess and Ollie Pope towards the end.
Ben Stokes is proving to be a vital force for England in the absence of regular skipper Joe Root. In the first innings, he was England's highest run-scorer (43) as they were bundled out for 204. He stood out with the ball as well, having claimed four scalps for 49 runs. In the second innings, Stokes complemented Crawley with a 79-ball 46.