I know that one can’t call a winner after just Day 1 of a test match, but some individuals made their name in this day, and will likely affect the outcome of this match. While both teams managed to shine on the first day in Barbados, the likes of debutant John Campbell and veteran James Anderson performed majestically, while those in Moeen Ali or West Indies Wicketkeeper Sam Dowrich might’ve been better off not playing today.
Day 1 summary
Although West Indian test cricket has been a failure as of late, their record against England stands proudly. The Windies have won 17 test series against the British, including seven consecutively between 1976 and 1990. Today, they continued to play well against England, only losing three wickets in the first two sessions. Three players, Shai Hope, Roston Chase and Shemron Hetmeyer achieved half-centuries with the openers not far behind.
West Indies were cruising, forcing the English bowlers to work tirelessly. Till the 80th over, West Indies were playing nicely 240-4. Then England took the new ball and the tables completely turned. The West Indies lost four wickets in 9.2 overs thanks to legend James Anderson’s three last wickets and Ben Stokes last-ball bag of Kemar Roach. West Indies had managed to finish the day on 264-8 when the score should’ve been much better.
West Indies’ openers:
Watching Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell open the batting gave me memories of how West Indies used to play, with Sir Vivian Richards or Brian Lara. The two put up a 56-run partnership, but both went on to score well with Brathwaite scoring an impressive 40(130) and uncapped Campbell making a statement with his 44(53) (which consisted of eight fours!).
It seems the future looks bright for West Indies cricket with Campbell at the top as batting stability has been their problem as of late.
When a drought takes place, the water found in the oasis is plentiful. England pace-veteran James Anderson had gone 300 deliveries without a wicket before he finally picked not one, but four! Three of the four within his last five of his 24 overs. Anderson finished with truly impressive figures of 4-33 with the team’s lowest economy of 1.37, including 12 maidens.
On a pitch which suited the pacers, today definitely wasn’t Moeen Ali’s day. The England off-spinner held the team’s highest economy on Day 1 with a staggering 4.91. His twelve overs went for an unfortunate 59 runs, though he did grab the wicket of Campbell lbw, who swept Ali for multiple boundaries. After ten overs, Ben Stokes had figures of 2-21, the same number of runs Ali gave away in just three overs.
After failing with the ball, it’s unlikely he’ll get another bowl this innings and will have to make up for his performance with the bat.
When five of West Indies’ batsmen had scored in the double-digits, Sam Dowrich shouldn’t be one of those who’s not. After facing six deliveries, Dowrich fell like the rest, caught behind off of Anderson’s bowling, as West Indies crashed to eight wickets in the final nine overs.