Ben Stokes had no regrets over choosing to bat first or England's decision to leave out Stuart Broad after West Indies won the first Test by four wickets.

England were all out for only 204 after Stokes, leading his country for the first time in the absence of Joe Root, won the toss and asked the tourists to bowl under grey skies on Wednesday.

They made a better fist of it in the second innings, setting the tourists 200 to win when they were dismissed for 313 behind closed doors on the final day at the Rose Bowl.

West Indies were in deep trouble on 27-3, with John Campbell also back in the pavilion retired hurt after being struck on the toe in a hostile spell from Jofra Archer.

Jermaine Blackwood came to the rescue with a classy and composed 95, putting on 73 for the fourth wicket with Roston Chase (37) to set up a brilliant victory for Jason Holder's side.

Stokes said there was no point in rueing his call at the toss or wishing Broad would have been selected, and he was pleased to see the paceman state he was angry to be overlooked in a television interview.

All-rounder Stokes said: "It was a very hard-fought Test match. It's always great when games can go to day five. The level of cricket played was fantastic.

"Ideally we would have liked to have got more runs in the first innings.

"We got ourselves into great positions at times with the bat to kick on and get 350 or 400, and we weren't ruthless enough. We didn't manage to grasp the game as we would have liked.

"I stand by the decision we made to bat first. We've got to be good enough to put first-innings runs on the board."

Asked about Broad's omission, Stokes told Test Match Special: "If I was to regret that decision then it doesn't send a good message to guys who played.

"I thought Stuart's interview was absolutely brilliant, to see the emotion and desire he still has burning inside him is great to see as a senior player. And it shows he's nowhere near done."

Root is set to return as skipper when the second Test gets under way at the bio-secure bubble of Old Trafford on Thursday.

Jason Holder saluted Shannon Gabriel and Jermaine Blackwood after they "led the charge" in a magnificent four-wicket win for West Indies over England in the first Test.  

Fit-again quick Gabriel took 5-75 – giving him match figures of 9-137 - to bowl England out for 313 and leave the tourists needing 200 for victory on the final day at the Rose Bowl.  

West Indies were in deep trouble on 27-3 with John Campbell having retired hurt due to a toe injury, but Blackwood and Roston Chase (37) put on 73 for the fourth wicket.  

Recalled batsman Blackwood fell for a classy and mature 95, but Campbell returned to hit the winning runs on a gripping Sunday behind closed doors in Southampton.  

Holder was full of praise for his side after they secured victory in the first international fixture since the coronavirus pandemic brought sport to a halt.

The Windies captain told Test Match Special: "I'm really happy. The boys have worked hard and it's good to see it pay off. 

"I'm happy that Gabriel came back well and Blackwood too. They put their hands up and led the charge. 

"It was a nerve-wracking start after losing quick three wickets and Campbell to injury. But Roston and Jermaine put on a good partnership and settled the nerves. From there we could build on. 

"I missed the Barmy Army. But it was a level playing field without the crowds. It's been a good start back to international cricket, it sets the series up quite nicely." 

The second Test begins at the bio-secure bubble of Old Trafford on Thursday, with West Indies eyeing a first series win in England since 1988. 

Jermaine Blackwood justified his recall with a magnificent match-winning innings as West Indies beat England by four wickets in a gripping first Test at the Rose Bowl.

Blackwood was given another chance to show he can cut it in the longest format after being dropped last year and he grabbed it with both hands on a tense final day behind closed doors in Southampton.

The Windies were set 200 to win a brilliant first international match since the coronavirus pandemic brought sport to a halt, Shannon Gabriel taking 5-75 - and match figures of 9-137 - to bowl England out for 313.

Barbados-born paceman Jofra Archer struck twice as the tourists slumped to 27-3, with John Campbell also retired hurt, but Blackwood came to the rescue.

The Jamaican made a mature, classy 95, hitting 12 boundaries before falling agonisingly short of a second Test century - five years after his first against England.

Roston Chase (37) provided great support for Blackwood, who was dropped on five and 20, and the Windies sealed only their second Test win in England in 20 years the final session.

Ben Stokes will face questions over his decision to bowl first in his first match as captain, with Joe Root set to return for a second Test starting at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Archer showed his ability with the bat after England resumed on 284-8, making a valuable 23 before he gloved Gabriel behind on the hook after Mark Wood nicked the paceman through to Shane Dowrich.

West Indies were in need of a solid start to the run chase, but a brilliant opening spell from Archer (3-45) made it very much advantage England.

Kraigg Brathwaite chopped on to the quick and the tourists still only had seven on the board when Shamarh Brooks was trapped leg before without scoring.

Campbell was also back in the pavilion retired hurt after being struck on the toe by Archer and Wood got in on the act by removing Shai Hope's off stump.

Chase survived an lbw shout before lunch, which was taken at 35-3, and Stokes could not take a chance to dismiss Blackwood in the slips, having misjudged where the ball would go.

Chase and Blackwood ticked over nicely, but a stand of 73 ended when the former fell to a brute of a delivery in a hostile spell from Archer after Zak Crawley made a mess of a run-out opportunity.

Blackwood played with great composure and brought up his half-century after Dowrich successfully reviewed, having been given out caught at slip off his elbow.

The tourists needed 57 in the final session with six wickets left and Stokes removed Dowrich (20) in only his fifth over after he had him caught from the previous ball but overstepped.

Blackwood kept a cool head and looked in complete control of the situation before driving Stokes (2-39) to James Anderson at mid-off to miss out on three figures.

Campbell returned to join captain Jason Holder at the crease with 11 needed to triumph and the opener hit the winning runs off Stokes to seal a great victory for the Windies.

Tim Paine has revealed he used to sit on the couch in tears as the Australia Test captain suffered from mental health issues earlier in his career.

Paine required seven operations after breaking his finger back in 2010, but earned an Australia recall seven years later and took over as skipper in 2018.

The 35-year-old was on the verge of quitting when he was out of the Tasmania team in 2017.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Paine has opened up on the struggles he has endured over the years and the doubts he had when he returned to the highest level.

He told the Bounce Back podcast: "When I started training and playing again I wasn't too bad, until I started to face guys who bowled a lot quicker.

"And they'd be running in and instead of thinking about hitting the ball, I was thinking: 'Geez I hope he doesn't hit me on the finger'.

"From there it was just a downward spiral. I lost absolutely all confidence. I didn't tell anyone about it. The truth is, one, I was scared of getting hit and two, I just didn’t know what I was going to do."

Paine revealed he did not let it be known he was struggling.

“I didn't sleep, I didn't eat. I was so nervous before games, I was horrible to live with," he added.

"I was pretty ordinary to my partner, who is now my wife [Bonnie]. I was always angry and took out that I wasn't doing well on other people.

"I was embarrassed at what I had become. No one knew I was struggling, not my mates, not my partner. There were times when she was at work and I'd sit on the couch crying. It was weird and it was painful."

Paine said talking to a sports psychologist at Cricket Tasmania helped him to get his career back on track.

"It was the first time I actually told anyone what was going on, but I remember walking out of that room and instantly feeling better, that I had let someone in and that was the first step to dealing with, admitting I needed help," he said.

He also found that saying what was on his mind helped him to overcome self-doubt when he was recalled for the 2017-18 Ashes series.

"It went from an amazing feeling ... and then I thought that's not good," he said.

"I'm going to have to bat in front of people and there are going to be millions of people watching. And for three or four days after I thought I don't want to do this.

"Again, spoke to some people and got that stuff off my chest and I thought bugger it, I'll just make the most of it ... I'm going to enjoy it."

England suffered a late collapse in Southampton to close day four on 284-8 – giving them a lead of 170 over West Indies – to leave the first Test delicately poised. 

Having erased a first-innings deficit of 114, the hosts appeared to be gaining the upper hand as they reached 249-3, Zak Crawley combining with stand-in captain Ben Stokes to put on a partnership of 98 for the fourth wicket.

The pair built on the good work done by openers Dom Sibley (50) and Rory Burns (42) but West Indies fought back impressively in the final session, Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph each taking two of the five wickets to go down.

Stokes (46), however, fell for a second time in the match to opposite number Jason Holder when seemingly going well, steering the West Indies skipper to one of two catchers positioned in the gully region.

As for Crawley, the right-hander's impressive innings came to an end on 76 when he chipped a return catch back to Joseph, who then followed up by bowling Jos Buttler for nine.

Gabriel produced a fine spell in fading light to bowl both Dom Bess and Ollie Pope, the latter via an inside edge, and though England avoided being dismissed prior to stumps, they had undoubtedly let slip a glorious opportunity after battling so hard to forge their way in front.

Burns and Sibley continued on from the overnight total of 15 without loss in the early stages of Saturday's play, pushing their opening stand on to 72.

Spinner Roston Chase finally claimed the initial breakthrough for West Indies, aided by Burns hitting a long hop to point, while he also tempted Joe Denly to chip a simple catch to mid-wicket. Having reached 29, England's number three once again failed to capitalise on a promising start. 

Sibley did carry on to register his first half-century on home soil in Tests, though departed soon after reaching the landmark. 

Reprieved when bowled off a no ball earlier in the same over, he was caught down leg by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich off the bowling of Gabriel, whose closing burst saw him finish with figures of 3-62.


WINDIES ON TOP BUT WORK STILL TO DO

West Indies will be pleased by the way they hit back with the ball after tea, though a wearing Rose Bowl pitch showing signs of uneven bounce means a fourth-innings chase is by no means straightforward. Still, considering how well England were going with Crawley and Stokes together, the tourists should now be considered favourites.
 

ROOT'S RETURN CREATES SELECTION ISSUE

With Joe Root set to come back into the XI for the second Test, one of England's batting line-up will have to make way for the returning skipper. It seems a straight fight between Denly and Crawley, with the latter surely now ahead on points after making his highest score in the format.


MOMENT OF THE DAY – GABRIEL GETS HIS MAN... AGAIN

Sibley appeared to have perished straight after reaching 50, bowled off an inside edge. A tight no-ball call initially offered him a second chance, yet the opening batsman failed to capitalise, lasting only two further deliveries before he was dismissed by the same bowler. 

West Indies racked up a 114-run first innings lead against England to take control of the first Test at the Rose Bowl on day three.

Kraigg Brathwaite (65) and Shane Dowrich (61) led the way for the tourists, who benefitted from valuable contributions all the way down the order as they reached 318 all out on Friday.

That was in stark contrast to England's efforts as they were skittled for 204, although openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley dug in to negotiate a tricky evening stint and reach stumps at 15-0.

Having made the most of bowling at England under leaden skies on Thursday, West Indies capitalised on the clouds parting to steadily compile a position of strength.

Denied helpful overhead conditions, the home attack were confronted by a fairly benign surface – one that meant Jofra Archer being denied an lbw verdict against Shai Hope due to overstepping was an error they could ill afford.

That moment in itself did not prove too costly as Hope was caught at slip by Ben Stokes for 16 after swiping at Dom Bess, the off-spinner who bowled tidily and also dismissed Jermaine Blackwood to claim 2-51.

But Archer would end the innings wicketless, with stand-in skipper Stokes (4-49) and James Anderson (3-62) sharing seven scalps.

Brathwaite could not turn his half-century into something more substantial, as he shuffled across to be trapped in front by Stokes, while Shamarh Brooks drove delightfully before edging Anderson behind to Jos Buttler for 39.

Roston Chase took on the anchor role – in stark contrast to Blackwood's devil-may-care efforts – and was trapped on the crease by Anderson when three shy of a richly deserved fifty.

Stokes removed opposite number Jason Holder cheaply and bowled Alzarri Joseph for a breezy 18, with Shannon Gabriel falling in similar fashion to Mark Wood.

Dowrich, who punished the England pacemen whenever they erred in line or length, was the penultimate man to fall, edging Stokes through to Buttler.

Gabriel, Holder and Kemar Roach found Burns and Sibley to be in resilient mood, although England will hope their hard yards have just begun.

 

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF FOR BRATHWAITE

Brathwaite had not passed 50 in 21 Test innings heading into the series opener, meaning the prospect of skilled seam attack in English conditions with a Dukes ball might have filled him with dread. If it did, it certainly did not show, as he masterfully laid a platform. The 27-year-old slightly opening his stance, allowing him to access the on-side and confidently play the in-swinger, looks a shrewd adjustment.

TOIL AND LITTLE REWARD FOR ENGLAND QUICKS

Historically, this rivalry has been dominated by West Indies pacemen, so there was obvious excitement around England fielding two men capable of frequently hitting 90 miles per hour and beyond. However, Wood and Archer turned in combined figures of 1-135. The pair will surely fire in tandem at Test level soon – maybe even in the second innings here – but their struggles jarred as a brooding Stuart Broad watched on from the sidelines.

MOMENT OF THE DAY – ANDERSON HANGS ON TO REMOVE CAVALIER BLACKWOOD

West Indies day was a tale of patience and steady accumulation, very much classic Test cricket. The match situation encouraged Blackwood to try and take the action away from England, but his approach sat in hilarious contrast to his more measured team-mates. It felt like the 28-year-old played several expansive attacking shots for each of the 12 runs he ended up scoring, although Anderson's grab at mid-off to end a bizarre and entertaining interlude was as sharp as they come.

England paceman Stuart Broad is "frustrated, angry and gutted" after missing out on selection for the first Test against West Indies at the Rose Bowl.

Broad was England's leading wicket-taker in the 2019-20 series victory in South Africa and the drawn Ashes series with Australia last year.

There was no place in the side for the 34-year-old in the first of three Tests versus the Windies, though, as James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood got the nod.

England's second-highest Test wicket-taker is at a loss to understand why he was left out in Southampton, missing out on a home Test for the first time since 2012.

He told Sky Sports: "I'm not a particularly emotional person but I've found the last couple of days quite tough.

"To say I was disappointed would be an understatement; you're disappointed if you drop your phone and the screen breaks.

"I'm frustrated, angry and gutted. It's difficult to understand. I've probably bowled the best I've ever bowled the last couple of years, I felt it was my shirt. I was in the team for the Ashes and going to South Africa and winning there.

Broad revealed he had asked national selector Ed Smith why he was not included.

He added: "I spoke to Ed Smith last night, he said he was involved in picking the 13 and this side was picked purely for this pitch. I wanted clarification on my future and I was given pretty positive feedback going forward.

"So yes, I was frustrated in the fact that I felt like I deserved a spot in the team."

Broad knows his omission shows the strength in depth England can call upon.

"You can't argue the bowlers walking on that field don't deserve to play," Broad said. "Everyone deserves to play. Chris Woakes, Sam Curran were bowling really well and probably deserve to be in the XI.

"It's just annoying when it's not you that's in that XI. Very rarely do you get guys fit and available for each Test match. That's where selection has been tricky.

"It's great to see strength and depth in the fast bowling ranks. It's the only way that England cricket moves forward and gets better. And with high competition in squads it keeps the standard high. Everyone is under pressure for their spots."

Jason Holder is eyeing a century after ticking off a five-wicket haul on English soil as West Indies piled pressure on England on day two of the opening Test.

West Indies captain Holder led by example with the ball, claiming career-best figures of 6-42 to help the visitors bowl out England for 204 before tea in Southampton on Thursday.

Shannon Gabriel weighed in with 4-62 but it was the Holder show at the Rose Bowl, where the Windies reached 57-1 at stumps – trailing England by 147 runs.

Holder's figures were the best for a West Indies captain in England and he has now taken at least five wickets in an innings in six of his past 10 Tests.

The Windies paceman revelled in his performance as he set his sights on another feat with the bat, saying: "My Test match is far from over.

"I've still got a massive contribution to make with the bat, and that's where my focus is going to be channelled now in this innings.

"One of the things I've always strived to do… was to score a hundred in England and to take a five-wicket haul here. I've ticked one box so far, so I guess it's now left for me to knuckle down and try to get a hundred."

After dismissing Zak Crawley (10) and Ollie Pope (12) before lunch on the second day, Holder then claimed the prized scalp of captain Ben Stokes (43).

Stokes and Jos Buttler (35) looked as though they might get on top of the Windies after England were reeling at 87-5, but Holder broke the threatening partnership in the middle session.

"It was a big wicket to get," Holder said. "Stokesy was looking quite set. We put down two chances and he was looking to make us pay for them. When I came on, his partnership with Jos was starting to blossom, and it was important to break that partnership quickly and not let it materialise into something that could really hurt us.

"I just wanted to be really consistent to him. He was pretty settled and countering the line that we were bowling by walking across and walking down. I was getting just enough movement there to keep him at bay, and I wanted to keep him playing."

England will have their work cut out on day three as Kraigg Brathwaite (20 not out) and Shai Hope (3 not out) return to the crease, with John Campbell (28) the only wicket to fall prior to stumps.

"They've done really well today and showed us the way to go," England paceman Mark Wood said. "We were in a similar position in the first innings and now we've got a chance to make it right like they did."

Wood added: "We haven't had the best day so plenty to do. I'd prefer a few in the wickets column rather than the pace column.

"They bowled well and got to give them credit, but 204 wasn't on the radar, we'd have liked 250 or 300. We didn't get it right with the ball, they got their line and length spot on. It's a bit of cobwebs and rust."

Jason Holder led by example with the ball as West Indies seized control of the first Test against England in Southampton.

Stuart Broad will miss his first home England Test since 2012 after being left out against West Indies at the Rose Bowl.

The return of international cricket, put on hold since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, was further delayed by rain in Southampton on Wednesday.

However, conditions eventually allowed for the two captains - Ben Stokes and Jason Holder - to emerge for the coin toss, which England won with Stokes electing to bat.

Stand-in captain Stokes, taking the place of Joe Root - missing the match to attend the birth of his second child - confirmed the omission of seam bowler Broad for the first of three behind-closed-doors Tests.

All-rounder Chris Woakes was also left out, with England opting for the pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood alongside the swing of James Anderson.

"Very, very tough decision with [leaving out] Broad and Woakes but we feel with Woody and Jofra's pace it adds another dimension," Broad said. 

"There was a lot of disappointment around but they took it like champions."

Holder, meanwhile, elected to go with four pace bowlers, with Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel joining the all-rounder in the attack.

Rahkeem Cornwall missed out, Holder picking Roston Chase as his spin option.

The start of play was rescheduled for 2:00pm (local time).

 

Azhar Ali sounded a note of cautious optimism over Pakistan's preparations for the Test series in England.

Pakistan face the hosts in a three-match series starting at Old Trafford next month, with captain Azhar's side training in Worcester.

They staged an intra-squad friendly across Sunday and Monday and, after a three-month coronavirus-enforced break, Azhar was pleased by what he saw.

"Both batsmen and bowlers have adapted to the conditions," he told the Pakistan Cricket Board website.

"The wind was troubling the bowlers initially but they overcame it, which was heartening. Definitely, the players are going to need some time to adjust.

"Despite the break, they are in good shape, which is a positive sign for us.

"All the batsmen batted quite well, especially Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq and Abid Ali seemed in total control, Shan Masood adapted well to the conditions and Mohammad Rizwan looked in good shape.

"Mohammad Abbas is our experienced bowler and his presence is of advantage for us as he also keeps guiding the youngsters.

"He is someone who can be a very important member of the attack for us. Naseem Shah bowled very well in the scenario-based match. He will attain more control as he continues to bowl."

Pakistan's initial squad had to be altered after several players tested positive for coronavirus, but no cases of COVID-19 have been found within the touring party.

England are in "capable hands" with Ben Stokes in charge, according to West Indies captain Jason Holder, as the top two all-rounders prepare to lead their respective teams at the Rose Bowl.

With Test skipper Joe Root not playing for family reasons, Stokes will get his first taste of international captaincy when England begin their three-Test series against West Indies on Wednesday.

Holder, in contrast, is vastly experienced in the job. The 28-year-old is also number one in the ICC Test all-rounder rankings, sitting just above his opposite number ahead of the return of international cricket amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The individual battle between the two skippers will be an interesting subplot to proceedings, particularly as Stokes will now have to deal with added responsibilities as he fills in for the absent Root.

"England are in capable hands [with Stokes]," Holder told the media ahead of the series opener in Southampton. "He's an excellent cricketer and a great competitor. I'm sure the guys in their dressing room will look up to him.

"He'll have experienced campaigners in his dressing room to help him along, I'm sure. I wish him all the best in this one game as captain."

Both teams boast strong seam-bowling depth, suggesting it will be a tough series for batsmen.

Like England, West Indies have often leaned heavily on the lower order for runs but Holder - who averages 32.72 in the format - is not concerned over who contributes for his team, so long as they post a competitive total.

"It doesn't have to only come from the top order. We're putting a lot of emphasis on the top order," he said.

Yes, they haven't probably lived up to the expectations, but in general it's still a team sport. We've just got to put runs on the board. However we get them, personally, I don't care.  

"It's just a matter of us putting runs on the board and giving our bowlers something to work with."

Holder confirmed West Indies would leave it until the morning of the game to decide on their final XI. The tourists have travelled with a larger squad to work in bio-secure conditions, though the unique situation has afforded opportunities for some on the fringes to impress.

"We've got a few young fast bowlers on tour. Obviously the circumstances have led to us bringing a much bigger touring party and that has given us the luxury to work with some young promising fast bowlers," Holder said.

"I must say I've been very impressed with all of them. They look very, very fit and healthy. There is obviously a lot of room for improvement, but having them here they have been open to learning. A lot of them have grasped so many things over the past couple of weeks.

"The practice session we had yesterday was one of the best practice sessions I've seen in my time playing cricket. It was very, very lively. The fast bowlers really ran in and challenged our batters.

"That really says a lot about the future for these young guys if they can stay fit and healthy, stay on track and work hard, we will have a really good cohort of fast bowlers."

Ben Stokes revealed that Joe Root left him a message telling the stand-in England captain to "do it your way" in the first Test against West Indies at the Rose Bowl.

Stokes will lead his country for the first time when the three-match series starts in Southampton on Wednesday, with Root absent as his wife is due to give birth to their second child.

The all-rounder will be open to advice from his team-mates and welcomed input from Root.

"The best message that I've received was when I got my photos done yesterday with the blazer," Stokes said on Tuesday. "Rooty just left a message on the hanger which said: 'do it your way.'

"When I first got asked I said I'd be open to opinions. Just because Joe's not here, that doesn't mean I'm not going to use him.

"Joe's always been very open and willing [to take] to advice from players, so I think I'd be stupid to go away from that. 

"We've got so much experience in this team that it would be silly not to lean on that if I feel like I need some advice."

Stokes added: "With Joe and his personal situation it's been a case of letting him deal with that

"I haven't been on him too much but I'm sure once the Test match starts, I know he'll be at home watching and I know that his phone will always be available for me to get in contact with him if I need to."

The tourists were 2-1 winners when the two nations did battle in the Caribbean last year, but both have a new head coach and Stokes believes England are a different proposition now.

"I think there's a lot more clarity with everybody," he said. "We have an identity as a Test team.

"Whereas in times gone past, a few lads might have felt under pressure with guys knocking the door down in a negative way, now we look at that in a positive way where there's competition for places in the team.

"If you're not performing well as a player, there's someone right behind you ready to come in. That's a great place to be in, especially as an international side.

"We have an identity now as a Test team. For us going forward, it's about building on that identity.

"We have a goal of becoming the best team in the world so we're building towards that."

Brian Lara has urged West Indies to "pounce immediately" and rattle England early on in their three-Test series.

The Windies great, formerly the all-time record run-scorer in Tests, believes his countrymen will struggle if matches go the full five-day distance.

But he sees West Indies as having the players who can impose themselves on their hosts, with the behind-closed-doors series starting in Southampton on Wednesday.

"They have to hit the road running and stamp their authority on England," Lara said in quotes published by the BBC.

"I don't think they can last five days, so they have to take these games in four days. They have to establish a lead and keep it."

Lara still holds the highest individual score in Tests - the 400 not out he scored against England in Antigua in 2004.

He knows what it takes to pick apart an England bowling attack, and West Indies' 2-1 series victory over the same opponents last year suggests the current breed can also more than hold their own.

Whether West Indies can be as competitive in English conditions as they were in the Caribbean remains to be seen.

"They have to be able to pounce immediately," said Lara. "England are not beaten very easily at home and are overwhelming favourites."

According to the 51-year-old Trinidadian, the tone for the series could be set on day one.

Lara said: "If they play good cricket on the first day of the Test series, show they have the mettle to perform against England, that's the key."

Page 1 of 36
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.