In Brief

Out for 77: reactions to England’s batting collapse in the West Indies

Kemar Roach takes 5-17 as Joe Root’s side wilt on day two of Barbados Test

West Indies vs. England 1st Test, day two
  • Kensington Oval, Barbados 
  • West Indies first innings: 289 all out 
  • England first innings: 77 all out 
  • West Indies second innings: 127-6 
  • WI lead by 339 runs with four wickets remaining

England collapsed in dramatic fashion on the second day of the first Test against the West Indies in Barbados as the tourists were skittled out for 77.

Having dismissed the Windies for 289, England openers Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings began solidly at the Kensington Oval yesterday, steering their side to 23 without loss.

But when Jennings went for 17 (the top score, as it turned out), it triggered a collapse that will have Australians licking their lips.

With the Ashes series starting in the summer, England’s batting remains as fragile as ever, although at least they scored more than the 58 that they managed ten months ago in New Zealand. 

Caribbean collapse

It’s not the first time, of course, that England have collapsed in the Caribbean but the difference between now and 1994, when they were all out for 46, is the bowling attack.

Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel are tame compared to some of the Windies pace bowlers of yore. But if they lack the ferocity of a Curtly Ambrose or a Courtney Walsh, their line and length was excellent against England.

Roach finished with figures of 5-17 and Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph picked up two wickets apiece as panic infected England’s batsmen.

“Every ball was a grenade,” remarked BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew. “It was rabbits in headlights stuff.” 

Long odds

With a lead of 212, Windies opted against enforcing the follow-on and they finished the second day on 127-6, a daunting advantage of 339 runs.

With no team ever having successfully chased a fourth innings total of more than 311 on the Kensington Oval, the odds of England pulling off a dramatic victory are as slim as their first innings total.

Today’s play in Barbados starts at 2pm (UK time) and is live on Sky Sports

What they said about England’s collapse

Geoff Boycott: “It wasn’t only disappointing; it was embarrassing… this is Test cricket. You are supposed to play through that and have technique and mental discipline.” 

Jonathan Agnew: “A lack of adequate preparation is something that I can talk about until I am blue in the face because it keeps coming back to haunt England, who so often start away Test series badly.”

Nasser Hussain: “England have looked vulnerable with their batting for a long, long time. The great sides in world cricket have been based on a solid top three and England haven’t had a solid top three for a long time.”

Michael Vaughan: “All the talk will be about selection and did England get it wrong. Fair arguments. But don’t let it be an excuse for a batting unit with so much talent being bowled out for 77. Simply not good enough for a unit that bats so deep.”

Moeen Ali: “It was a disappointing day and there are always going to be a few guys who make mistakes… they bowled fantastically well with good pace and managed to get us out.”

Kemar Roach: “The ball came out of my hand pretty well. I was pretty happy with how I felt. Eight overs on the trot was a bit tough, the heat was pretty hot, but I was ready to go for the team.”

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