West Indies vs England: 2nd Test, Day Two Live Blog

Preamble: The West Indies have probably won all bar two sessions in this series so far, and while the story and expectation of the series has been that of the plucky underdogs taking a surprise lead, if they win the first two sessions today, that needs to change to recognising the dominant team. For yesterday was another grim one for England and another fine one for the hosts, and finished with Campbell and Brathwaite providing an object lesson to their English counterparts in how to leave the ball alone.

England failing to make the batsmen play is hardly new, and perhaps judging opposition standards by their own is almost understandable. But today they’re going to have to tighten up considerably to make any inroads, and the new ball is now not so new at all.

Still, all things are possible on a surface that has looked lively, acaseEngland must be confident that if they bowl well, they can get back into what would then become a rather short game. But the West Indies bowlers are considerably quicker than England’s – that looked like it made a difference in Barbados, and may well make the difference here. In which case, from a cricketing perspective, this is a very, very good thing indeed. Pace should be rewarded, not nullified.

In advance of the series, my personal fear was that Antigua would be a tourist board pitch. This is not the case at all. And that’s because the West Indies smell blood.

As ever, hit refresh for updates.

0805: Off to the ground!

0829: The skies are a bit clearer than yesterday at this time, much less overcast. Not what England wanted to see.

0923: Funny how you feel at home so quickly in a ground. Day 2, know where everything is. Also striking how much quieter it was on the way, how much less traffic there was.

Day three tickets bought too.

First photo of the day is England warming up. I’m sure they have many cunning plans.

0955: Definitely quieter today than yesterday, markedly so. There were a decent number of people in on the cruise ships yesterday, that’s probably the difference.

0957: Teams out and here we go.

1013: Broad seems to be bowling with a bit more oomph this morning. Can TV viewers confirm?

1050: fair to say Broad hasn’t had a huge amount of luck this morning. Oh look, a visitor:

1100: Broad is stalking around the outfield like a man wanting to murder the world. Those overthrows just about topped it off.

1109: England have bowled pretty well this morning, especially Broad, but dropping catches doesn’t exactly help. Stokes’ wicket was the first England had taken in 100 overs.

1140: Looks suspiciously like England may have shot their bolt here. Runs are now starting to flow and the sense of threat has disappeared. And with a lead rapidly shrinking the time to say they are in deep trouble is approaching.

1156: elsewhere, how’s this for a catch from Jason Roy:

1205: and that’s lunch. England bowled well early on, and really should have taken a few more wickets. But they didn’t, and the last hour has been pretty untroubled from a West Indies perspective. The run rate isn’t too high, and the second new ball is 30 overs away, meaning if England can take two or three this afternoon then the deficit might not be too big. But there’s the rub, it’s already turning to damage limitation, and there’s little evidence the West Indies will be as accommodating as England’s batsmen.

1254: wait, a wicket? OMG etc.

1313: The trouble is, there’s not a huge amount to say. Broad has looked head and shoulders above everyone else today, but the West Indies are just two down, and nearing parity. They’ve batted beautifully, without risk and maintaining their wickets. That England are trying hard is without doubt, but once again expecting the bowlers to bale the team out when they’ve been skittled again is not reasonable.

1325: look I don’t want to boast or anything, oh sod that, I trust you all appreciate my brilliance?

1417: Hiatus for lunch, sorry. West Indies in the lead, and England have the new ball in the next 7 overs. 50 as a deficit is manageable I suppose, and would represent a fine bowling performance. But then it needs the batsmen to go well.

1446: and that’s tea. And a fine over before the break from Nick Denly…

New ball now due.

The Sir Andy Roberts stand looking rather good today.

1529: I’ve always felt a high dropped catch ratio is more a symptom than a cause.

1532: There’s a certain irony that after not bowling at the stumps, an lbw decision is overturned because it wasn’t hitting the stumps.

1543: Mark the time – the Barmy Army have started.

1552: As the sixth wicket goes down, this is all set up for England to have to bat the last 10 overs of the day. Oh dear.

1611: maybe not, given they’ve taken no more since. England really haven’t bowled too badly, albeit the age old complaint about bowling dry rather than making the opposition play still applies – especially on a surface where bounce is variable. But there’s still nothing so wrong with it that isn’t exaggerated by being bowled out cheaply again. Dropped catches just make it worse.

1633: It’s meandering again really. Not that the West Indies will remotely care, as they continue to build a lead that’s now more than useful. But England don’t especially look like wrapping this up any time soon.

On the plus side, the crowd has been doing a fine job of entertaining itself, largely through the locals taking the piss out of the England team, which is fair enough too.

1642: I would consider lying back, putting the hat over my face and having a kip, were it not that it is nailed on the best way to end up on Sky Sports and be faced with relentless abuse forever and a day.

1655: The West Indies have really shown England how to bat here. Bravo is 31 not out off 144 balls. It’s a bit of a stretch to imagine any of the England players managing that. Stokes perhaps but not many others. It’s almost as though application and patience is important in Test cricket, especially on difficult pitches.

1721: Last over of the day

Stumps: West Indies in control, and worse, looking entirely comfortable in doing so. It’s always possible England will come out skittle the remaining wickets in short order, but on a pitch the West Indies attack have looked far better than England (Broad perhaps excepted), it’s already a sizeable lead, if not a decisive one. England will have to bat exceptionally to even set a decent target, and while they certainly can do, the evidence thus far suggests it’s unlikely.

As for the hosts, they gave an object lesson in how to bat on a difficult surface, playing close to the body and not committing to extravagant shots. Sure, they had a degree of good fortune as well, but they rather earned that good fortune through their application. It has been deeply impressive to watch.

To put it another way, the West Indies are completely outplaying England in every department, and for all the protestations about how England’s displays have been aberrations, it looks more and more a difference in ability between the sides in these conditions.

And with that, I bid you good evening and will see you tomorrow. TLG.


22 thoughts on “West Indies vs England: 2nd Test, Day Two Live Blog

  1. Mark Chapman Feb 1, 2019 / 2:31 pm

    Broad is bowling around 86-87 mph. Didn´t see what speed he was at yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Miami Dad's Six Feb 1, 2019 / 2:48 pm

    How bad must Sri Lanka be?


  3. man in a barrel Feb 1, 2019 / 3:33 pm

    It looks as if Broad is round about the same speed as yesterday but that his quicker balls today are 88 rather than 86


  4. Tony Bennett Feb 1, 2019 / 3:54 pm

    Trouble definitely brewing for England now. There doesn’t seem to be anything in the pitch for Ali. And Curran offers no threat or control in these conditions.


  5. BobW Feb 1, 2019 / 4:07 pm

    Great overthrow by Broad off Anderson’s bowling. Unbelievably stupid.


  6. Rooto Feb 1, 2019 / 5:18 pm

    I have to thank Nasser, Matt Prior and the commentator whose name escapes me (McSomething). If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t know just how well England are playing, how close the game is and how lucky the West Indies are. Thank goodness I wasn’t relying on the scorecard.


    • Rooto Feb 1, 2019 / 5:26 pm

      Feeling a bit stupid now, but I suppose it had to be said…


      • BobW Feb 1, 2019 / 6:32 pm

        I agree with you. They have been inane.
        Also Agnew’s fawning over Cook on twitter and Broad in general has driven me nuts.
        It really is about cricket with your mates.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rooto Feb 1, 2019 / 6:54 pm

          There’s an element of me being annoyed because the commentators are writing the story. They spend all morning telling us that Broad is “on one”, saying “England just need Broad to get on a roll”, etc. Then it either happens (Harmison saying that Nasser “called it”) or it just nearly happens, whereupon they talk again about how unlucky the bowlers have been.
          About 25 minutes ago Matt Prior (who I had totally given up on as merely an ECB cheerleader) actually praised the WI batting. I think it was more or less the first time today that Talksport’s English voices have deigned to praise the other team. I can’t wait to get back to the relative objectivity of TMS next summer.


  7. Miami Dad's 6 Feb 1, 2019 / 7:31 pm

    On a pitch with on occasion excessive variable bounce, England have spent quite some time not bowling at the stumps.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Rooto Feb 1, 2019 / 8:31 pm

    “What you’ve got to remember is the West Indies bowlers are stronger, faster, fiercer…”
    Well Goughy, how about saying that they’re better for the conditions? After all, we wouldn’t want to be laid open to charges of insidious physicality-style backward thinking as regards race.


    • oreston Feb 2, 2019 / 12:10 am

      Dazza’s on slightly thin ice there. I’d love to hear him explain away the difference in the performances of the two teams’ batting units so far in this series. Would he pin it all on the England bowlers being weaker, slower, tamer? There’d be a grain of truth in that (given the conditions) but equally it would insult the West Indies batsmen.
      I really hope the hosts can make their last four first innings wickets count tomorrow. England could quite easily go belly up again second dig if they go into it chasing (say) a 125+ lead. Admittedly there is entertainment value of sorts in seeing them go calypso collapso (if your thing is being a voyeur at a car crash) but it wears a little thin when it happens too often.


      • thelegglance Feb 2, 2019 / 12:14 am

        Im kind of hoping for a result tomorrow in a way. I can’t be arsed to schlep over for 30 overs on Sunday, I’d rather stay on the beach (yeah I know, sorry). It’s definitely possible.

        Obviously if it’s set up for a full day’s play I may change my mind.

        I have to say, I love the experience. It’s so much more chilled than at home. The lengthy gaps between updates are usually because I’ve found a new friend to chat to.


      • Pontiac Feb 2, 2019 / 12:36 am

        The difference has been batting, bowling, catching, captaincy (having a fourth slip in at the right time, etc), so it’s a bit weak to be hearing ‘luck’ and ‘the pitch’ being differentiating factors.

        It’s also funny to hear England complaining about a first day pitch with something on it… I don’t think it’s obvious England have lost any more wickets owing to pitch misbehavior than WI have.

        The real factor here may have to do with the number of overs that WI are putting into Anderson, Broad, and Stokes.


  9. Rooto Feb 1, 2019 / 9:25 pm

    Good on you TLG for recognising / remembering Stokes’ ability to hang in there. My main memories of last summer’s series are listening to him and Buttler battling along at 2 an over.
    As I write that, it’s stumps. Some great batting and guts from WI. Just the opposite of what most of us were expecting coming into the series. Meanwhile Prior talks about the 3 drops on the radio…


  10. j mareeswaran Feb 2, 2019 / 3:41 am

    Obviously windies have the better attack for the conditions and arguably the better batting unit for all conditions

    England seemed to have reached the limits of their Total (bits & pieces) Cricket approach

    Can’t seem to remember a decent batsman after James Taylor
    Right now England have Root & Bairstow who look like long term batsmen and Stokes is a genuine bowling all rounder

    West Indies at long last have a ‘unit’ that can bat collectively
    Braithwaite, Bravo, & Dowrich look like proper test match batsmen & Chase can bat too
    Rest of the players can bat around the core

    Would be funny, if Broad gets his wish and ends up bowling on day-4
    I have never been a fan of day 3 declarations. The icc should bring a rule to ban day 3 declarations unless the match is affected by rain
    It is test match cricket and not a picnic in the Weald 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Metatone Feb 2, 2019 / 8:23 am

    So, short note on “catches win matches” – this is obviously true, and I didn’t see any slo-mo footage of play (and only a few hurried highlights) but from those and from descriptions of play, it seems that while the burgeoning line is “Broad had a right to expect more wickets” in fact only one obvious sitter was dropped.

    Perhaps I need to write something about Batigol, Fiorentina, xG and then bowling and catches…

    Anyway, it matters b/c it’s a distraction from:

    (a) how well did Broad bowl? (seemed pretty good to me, but not necessarily always as dangerous as those “missed edges” might imply)

    (b) was the rest of the bowling unit creating chances? (not so much)


    • dArthez Feb 2, 2019 / 9:50 am

      Broad bowled well. The problem is no one else really did. Sustained pressure from both ends is what is important. I followed the game quite closely. Curran bowled his 10th over in the 97th of the innings. At that time, Broad and Stokes had put in nearly 25. Which strongly suggests that Curran was not threatening at all, and that England preferred bowling Stokes, Broad and Anderson into the ground instead (if that is not an indictment on Curran’s bowling, I don’t know what is). Both should cause some serious pondering about the team balance.

      A lot of criticism was directed at Rashid for not bowling much / being expensive, but a – that is the captain’s call b – the pitch was not that conducive to spin, England’s self destruction to Chase notwithstanding). I am fairly confident that the non-performance of Curran is not even being talked about by the think tank. Or that somehow the explanations that did not apply to Rashid, suddenly do count as excuses for Curran.

      West Indies also batted smartly (the odd idiotic shot excepted, but those kept England in the game). Due to England’s modest 187, West Indies realized they had all the time in the world to get their runs. And thus we saw proper batting against the new balls – and fatigue / niggles will definitely be a factor for the rest of the series. 242/6 might be a modest day’s total, but in the context of the game, that is more or less what West Indies needed to do.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Metatone Feb 2, 2019 / 8:25 am

    login test (please ignore)


  13. thebogfather Feb 2, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    I think Leggy must have been out with Dan’s ‘new wife’ last night – it’s the only explanation for his late arrival here today… #WeWantToHearFromHer 🙂


    • thelegglance Feb 2, 2019 / 12:55 pm

      Patience, padowan. I’ve just arrived at the ground and am hunting coffee. And I do need some coffee.

      As for Mrs Dan, I fear it was a one day thing. Otherwise divorce may be on the cards. Couldn’t find him yesterday anyway.


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