Only 17.4 overs possible on rain-affected first day


West Indies and England endured a frustrating return to international cricket as the opening day of the first Test  was disrupted by rain. Only 17.4 overs were possible in Southampton, in which time England battled to 35-1.

This series and the rest of England’s rejigged home summer is being played behind closed doors and in a bio-secure environment, with everyone on site subject to coronavirus tests, temperature checks and adhering to strict safety measures.


The home side, being led for the first time by Ben Stokes while regular captain Joe Root is isolating after the birth of his second child, opted to omit pace bowler Stuart Broad in favour of James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

Shannon Gabriel celebrates a wicket with his fourth ball of the match

Just before play got under way three hours late, all players and officials paused in silence to remember those lost to coronavirus and West Indies legend Sir Everton Weekes, then took a knee in a powerful gesture of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Opener Dom Sibley, making his home debut, was bowled playing no shot to Shannon Gabriel to the fourth ball he faced and departed without scoring.

Rory Burns, returning from an ankle injury, looked comfortable for his unbeaten 20, while Joe Denly required more fortune in reaching 14.

Bad light forced the players to take an early tea, with rain and more gloom ensuring they did not return.

Playing XIs

England: 1 Rory Burns, 2 Dom Sibley, 3 Joe Denly, 4 Zak Crawley, 5 Ben Stokes (capt), 6 Ollie Pope, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Dom Bess, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 Mark Wood, 11 James Anderson.

West Indies: 1 John Campbell, 2 Kraigg Brathwaite, 3 Shamarh Brooks, 4 Shai Hope, 5 Roston Chase, 6 Jermaine Blackwood, 7 Shane Dowrich (wk), 8 Jason Holder (capt), 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Shannon Gabriel.

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