Stokes, Buttler lead England's fightback

Sat, Feb 9, '19

 

Windies v England

On what was an absorbing day of Test cricket, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler ensured that the England batting order didn't collapse in the Caribbean yet again for the third successive Test as the duo stitched an unbeaten 124 for the fifth wicket on the opening day in St. Lucia. England were in a familiar position once again after losing three key wickets in the afternoon session but Stokes and Buttler mixed caution with aggression to bail their side out of trouble as the tourists posted 231/4 on the board at stumps.

Keaton Jennings' recall didn't help matters for England as they failed to address their top order woes. Jennings was tentative and watchful right from the outset and received two reprieves before finally falling to a loose drive outside off. Keemo Paul and Shannon Gabriel then bowled some absolute beauties towards the end of the session with the batsmen keen on getting through to the break without further damage.

England then had the rub of the green once again in the final over before lunch when Gabriel bowled one at awkward length and line on leg to Joe Denly, which the batsman tried to fend without success. Upon collecting the ball, the wicketkeeper was convinced there was a glove and urged the skipper to review the decision. Replays showed that the batsman had indeed gloved it, but quite remarkably, Denly's glove was not in contact with the handle just in time when the ball kissed it, thus managing to survive.