ENG vs WI: Ben Stokes and Co choke; bowled out for 204 as Holder bags best figures
Hosts England bowled out for 204 after West Indies skipper Holder claims Test-best figures of 6-42 on Day Two of the opening Test
West Indies captain Jason Holder returned Test-best figures of 6-42 as England slumped to 204 all out on Day Two of the series opener at Southampton on Thursday. At the time of going to press, West Indies were 57-1 with Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope batting on 20 and three respectively. Holder, the world's top-ranked Test all-rounder, surpassed his previous Test-best of 6-59 against Bangladesh at Kingston two years ago, making full use of overcast conditions at the Ageas Bowl.
His haul, the sixth time in his past 10 Tests that Holder has taken five or more wickets in an innings, included the prize scalp of opposing captain Ben Stokes, who top-scored with 43 after winning the toss. Shannon Gabriel, who did the early damage, took all the other wickets for impressive figures of 4-62. The fast bowler was initially selected as a travelling reserve for this series before regaining full fitness following ankle surgery.
England slipped to 87-5 before a stand of 67 between Stokes (43) and vice-captain Jos Buttler (35) repaired some of the damage. Off-spinner Dom Bess chipped in with a useful 31 not out. But with both sides seemingly stronger in bowling than batting, it is by no means certain that West Indies would emerge with a first-innings lead.
Earlier, England could have been dismissed even more cheaply, with Stokes dropped on 14 and 32 after Kemar Roach floored a difficult diving chance at long leg before Shamarh Brooks spilt a far easier opportunity at extra cover. Left-hander Stokes, leading the side in the absence of regular captain Joe Root, missing this match following the birth of his second child, struck fast bowler Gabriel for two square-cut fours and a superb front-foot drive off Roach went for another boundary.
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