Sibley, Stokes give England first day honours


Half-centuries from Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes made it England’s day as the second Test against West Indies began at Old Trafford on Thursday. It was a slow day scoring wise, but England can breathe easy after being sent in to bat first.

Eighty-two overs were possible on the opening day, and England closed on 207-3 after a hard-fought day of Test cricket.

Opener Dom Sibley was rock solid for the hosts, facing 253 balls for an unbeaten 86, an innings that included just four boundaries. He will start day two eyeing a second Test hundred in his eighth game.

Vice-captain Ben Stokes, who has so far added 126 for the fourth wicket with Sibley, is not out on 59. Bowling for West Indies, Roston Chase picked up 2-53 and Alzarri Joseph 1-41.

England earlier slipped to 81-3 after Chase made a telling double blow, dismissing Rory Burns for 15 and Zak Crawley off consecutive deliveries on either side of lunch to make it 29-2.

Joe Root, playing for the first time this series was dismissed for 23, falling to Joseph for the fourth time in six innings.

While West Indies remain unchanged from the opening Test win at Southampton, England were forced to make four changes.

On the morning of the match, England dropped Jofra Archer, who breached the biosecure protocol by visiting his home on the way to the venue, while Joe Root replaced Joe Denly, and seam trio Sam Curran, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes came in for Archer, James Anderson and Mark Wood.

West Indies meanwhile, have some concerns over Shannon Gabriel, who had to leave field with a hamstring injury. Gabriel, Man-of-the-Match in the first Test win, bowled just 10 overs on the opening day.

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