It was the first Test match in more than 5 months time as England take on West Indies at Ageas Bowl in Southampton. As expected, the rain played a spoilsport which caused a delay in the toss. After a delay of more than two hours, Jason Holder and England’s stand-in captain Ben stokes walked out for the toss.
England won the toss and elected to bat first. The home side rolled out a shocker as they dropped Stuart Broad from the side after eight long years. The fast bowler had a record of playing 52 consecutive Test matches for England since 2012. West Indies decided to make one change from their last Test XI, they picked Jermaine Blackwood over Rahkeem Cornwall.
Rain play spoilsport on Day 1
Before the play, both teams including the umpires bend their knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. West Indies opened the attack with Kemar Roach, while Rory Burns taking the strike and Dominic Sibley at the non-striker’s end. Holder had three slips and a gully in place as the first international game in the COVID-19 pandemic was about to begin.
West Indies didn’t take long to strike as Shannon Gabriel picked Dominic Sibley’s wicket in the second over. Joe Denly walked in to bat much earlier than he would have expected but he soon had to head back to the pavilion along with Burns as the rain returned. With the rain not stopping, the umpires finally gave a sigh of a restart as play began at 3:30 pm local time.
As soon as the play restarted, West Indies unleashed all their four fast bowlers onto the England batsmen. After a short opening spell by Roach & Gabriel, the West Indies captain brought himself along with Alzarri Joseph into the attack. Denly and Burns steadied at the crease as they finished 35/1 at tea.
With the rain returning both teams were unable to take the field in the last session. With less than 18 overs bowled in the day, the umpires called it stumps. It remains to see how the weather is on Day 2 as the fans await watch an entire day of Test cricket.
England: 35/1 (Burns – 20*, Shanon Gabriel – 1/19)