West Indies v England: James Anderson takes four wickets to boost tourists


James Anderson took three wickets for six runs off five overs in his final spell of the day
First Test, Kensington Oval, Barbados (day one)
West Indies 254-8: Hope 57, Hetmyer 56*, Chase 54
England: Yet to bat

James Anderson took four wickets in the final session to swing the first Test in England’s favour on day one against West Indies in Barbados.

The hosts had looked on top, with Shai Hope, Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer hitting fifties.

But Anderson dismissed Hope for 57, before removing Roston Chase for 54, Shane Dowrich and captain Jason Holder with the second new ball.

Ben Stokes had Kemar Roach caught off the last ball to leave the hosts 264-8.

Hetmyer remains unbeaten on 56 off 60 balls, having played an aggressive innings with five fours and two sixes after being dropped on three by Jos Buttler.

The tourists, who left out Stuart Broad in favour of all-rounder Sam Curran, had failed to offer a sustained threat on a largely docile Kensington Oval pitch, but were lifted by a sensational performance from Anderson and three wickets from Stokes.

Anderson, 36, bowled two superb spells after tea, taking 3-6 in five overs in the second of those to become the first England bowler to take 200 Test wickets away from home.

All-rounder Stokes was also excellent, striking twice just before tea and returning to remove Roach for a duck, with West Indies losing four wickets for 24 runs late on.

Inspired Anderson boosts England

Despite losing two wickets just before rain brought an early tea, West Indies continued to bat in a determined manner, with the impressive Hope – who scored two hundreds in victory over England at Headingley in 2017 – ably supported by Chase.

With England looking short of ideas, Root turned to Anderson and the most successful fast bowler in Test history delivered, finding movement from back of a length to have Hope playing away from his body and caught behind off an inside edge.

Once Buttler had dropped a diving chance at extra cover to remove Hetmyer off Anderson, Chase and Hetmyer combined to share the hosts’ third half-century stand of the innings.

Anderson returned to devastating effect with the second new ball. Chase played at one that shaped away, Dowrich miscued an aborted pull to offer Jos Buttler a simple catch at second slip, and Anderson took a fine one-handed catch to his left off a mistimed Holder drive.

Stokes returned to inflict further damage, getting a ball to lift sharply and have Roach caught at first slip as Hetmyer, who had taken a single off the first ball, sank to his knees.

Earlier, openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell, on debut, made 40 and 44 respectively, but no batsman was able to convert a start into a decisive score.

It leaves the compelling Hetymer – who batted with a helmet, in a sun hat and without a hat at all – to try and marshal the tail to a competitive score on day two.

Have England picked the wrong team?

England picked left-arm seamer Curran and spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, leaving out their second highest Test wicket-taker Broad, which captain Joe Root said was a “gut call” after inspecting the pitch.

But there was very minimal spin and Curran, unable to able to match the swing that Anderson found, bowled 12 overs – half the number of his new-ball partner.

Stokes was the most consistently dangerous bowler with the first new ball, extracting some uneven bounce and seam movement from an otherwise flat wicket to draw Brathwaite into edging to Root at first slip.

In his next over, he trapped Darren Bravo lbw for two as the left-hander’s first Test innings since October 2016 lasted five balls.

While Rashid bowled steadily, Moeen was targeted throughout, meaning part-timer Root brought himself on in the evening session.

Then again, when you have Anderson, you can perhaps afford to make a slight error to the balance of your side.