Root hits ton as England take command


Joe Root
Root’s hundred is his eighth since the start of 2021 in 19 Tests
Second Test, Kensington Oval, Barbados (day one):
England 244-3: Root 119*, Lawrence 91
West Indies Yet to bat

Joe Root punished West Indies with yet another century as England took command of the second Test on day one in Barbados.

Root could have been given caught behind on 23 and was dropped on 34 but ended 119 not out – his 25th Test ton and second in as many innings.

England’s ascendancy was checked slightly by the loss of Dan Lawrence to close the day, after he compiled a dazzling 91.

Lawrence had looked on course for his maiden Test ton after combining with Root for a brilliant, aggressive stand of 164, but chipped Jason Holder to extra cover in the final over.

Root had laid a platform with Alex Lees, who made 30 from 138 balls, after opener Zak Crawley was caught behind for a duck in the fourth over.

The late wicket boosted West Indies who had otherwise been wasteful on another flat pitch.

The tourists had earlier handed debuts to Saqib Mahmood and fellow seamer Matt Fisher – the latter a late replacement for Craig Overton who was ruled out with illness.

Late wicket takes shine off England’s day

Until Lawrence was dismissed, England were heading towards a near-perfect day.

Their captain had scored another stunning century and Lawrence, one of the young batters given a chance in this series after the Ashes humiliation, had played his best Test knock to date.

But the 24-year-old, perhaps with three figures on his mind and having cracked the two previous deliveries for four, went hard at a ball from Holder outside off and offered a catch. It would have been the penultimate ball of the day.

Holder celebrated wildly as West Indies, who had been average for the majority of the day, hit back.

Lawrence, in contrast, had to drag himself from the field as the thousands of England fans he had earlier roused applauded.

England are still well in control but the nature of the pitch means a score close to 400 will likely be par.

West Indies, having checked the scoring in the first part of the day, will now hope to keep England below that.

More to follow

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