ANTIGUA - Windies batsmen battled hard on the second day in Antigua on a difficult, uneven pitch to take an invaluable 85 run lead. Resuming the day on 30/0 having bowled England out for 187, Windies’ batsmen placed great value on their wickets on a day that was difficult for batting. With some deliveries keeping low – such as the one that dismissed Roston Chase – and others rearing off a length – such as the ball that hit Darren Bravo late in the day – the Windies batsmen fought bravely despite no batsman passing 50. 

Despite just taking six wickets across the day, England’s bowlers couldn’t be faulted for their efforts. James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes charged in all day, only to pass the bat on countless occasions and frequently missing Windies edges by the tiniest of margins. Dropped catches, most notably from Jos Buttler off Darren Bravo, did not help their situation.

John Campbell (47) was the only batsman to fall in the first session, edging a fired-up Stokes delivery to Buttler in the slips, having earlier been dropped by the same player. Kraigg Brathwaite (49) was characteristically obdurate in defence but fell shortly after lunch, inside-edging a forward defence to substitute fielder Keaton Jennings off Moeen Ali at short leg. 

Shai Hope was the third batsman out in the 40s. His knock, a more fluent one than Campbell’s and Brathwaite’s, was ended by Stuart Broad. Broad, on his return to the side, bowled with real vigour and on another day, could have easily doubled his tally of three wickets for the day. 

Shortly after Chase was bowled for four, Shimron Hetmyer was caught by a diving Anderson in the deep as Hetmyer tried to hit Moeen out of the park.

At 186/5, England would have had realistic hopes of rattling through the Windies lower order, but in a crucial final session, Windies defended resiliently, losing only the wicket of Shane Dowrich to a Broad delivery that rose unexpectedly off a full length.

Captain Jason Holder and Darren Bravo batted to the close, with Bravo taking a particular nasty blow to the forearm. If anything, batting became harder as the day progressed and Windies’ lead of 85 runs already looks a pivotal one. They’ll resume day three on 272/6.

 Scorecard

ENGLAND 1ST INNINGS: 187

WEST INDIES 1ST INNINGS:

(OVERNIGHT: 30-0):

K Brathwaite c sub b Ali 49

J Campbell c Buttler b Stokes 47

S Hope c Bairstow b Broad 44

D Bravo not out 33

RL Chase b Broad 4

S Hetmyer c Anderson b Ali 21

S Dowrich c Buttler b Broad 31

J Holder not out 19

EXTRAS: (b8, lb13, nb2, w1) 24

TOTAL: (6 wkts; 111 overs) 272

FOW: 1-70, 2-133, 3-151, 4-155, 5-186, 6-236

BOWLING: J Anderson 21-3-58-0, S Broad 28-13-42-3, B Stokes 25-6-58-1, S Curran 13-0-38-0, M Ali 23-4-54-2, J Denly 1-0-1-0

TOSS: West Indies

UMPIRES: Kumar Dharmasena, Chris Gaffaney

TV UMPIRE: Rod Tucker

MATCH REFEREE: Jeff Crowe