West Indies stumble again as England close in on massive win

SUMMARY: West Indies 121 all out from 41.4 overs (Mikyle Louis 27, Kavem Hodge 24, Alick Athanaze 23; Gus Atkinson 7-45) and 79-6 from 34.5 overs (Alick Athanaze 22, Jason Holder 20; James Anderson 2-11, Ben Stokes 2-25, Gus Atkinson 2-27) vs England 371 all out from 90 overs (Zak Crawley 76, Jamie Smith 70, Joe Root 68, Ollie Pope 57, Harry Brook 50; Jayden Seales 4-77, Gudakesh Motie 2-41, Jason Holder 2-58)

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James Anderson took two wickets in his final innings as an international bowler to help put England on course for a huge win over West Indies in the first Test at Lord’s.

Anderson, opening the attack for the last time in his record-breaking England career, began the hosts’ hunt for an innings victory by bowling West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and returned to have Alick Athanaze caught behind.

With captain Ben Stokes also taking two wickets and Gus Atkinson two of his own, including Jason Holder off the final ball of the day, West Indies were left 79-6, still 171 short of making England bat again.

The tourists had actually done well to bowl England out for 371, but are paying the price for being hustled out for 121 on the opening day.

Jamie Smith, England’s wicketkeeper on Test debut, showed why he has such a reputation as a batting talent with an assured 70.

Joe Root made a typically elegant 68 and Harry Brook 50, though none of the home top order could capitalise on some good batting conditions with a really big score.

Still, England will win this match on a Friday which promises to be an emotional farewell to the legendary Anderson.

Ben Stokes had Kirk McKenzie pinned in front of the stumps (Photo: Getty Images)

England close in on low-key day

After an opening day of ceremony for Anderson and excitement surrounding the seven-wicket haul of Gus Atkinson, Thursday was relatively low key, with England not having to be at their best to take an iron grip on the contest.

Lord’s was splashed with red for the Ruth Strauss Foundation and the fireworks that shot into the sky before play were the only pyrotechnics on display until Smith opened his shoulders late in England’s innings.

England began on 189-3, leading by 68. West Indies had a poor first hour, but improved after Brook was dismissed to work through the home batting.

England actually lost their last seven wickets for 127 runs, the highlight of which was Mikyle Louis running out Shoaib Bashir with a direct hit from 40 yards, then setting off on a sprinting celebration that culminated with a hug with his brother Jeremiah, who is also in the West Indies squad.

West Indies began their second innings straight after tea and, at 37-4, there was a genuine prospect of the first two-day Test on this ground since 1888.

Athanaze, Holder and Joshua da Silva did just enough to drag the match into a third day, but surely nothing will prevent England going 1-0 up in the three-match series.

James Anderson ended Alick Athanaze’s resistance (Photo: Getty Images)

Anderson begins his goodbye

Emerging at number 11, Anderson was given a standing ovation as he made his way to the middle, then even led the players off despite not facing a ball. His unbeaten nought was his 114th not-out in Test cricket, 53 more than anyone else has managed and another of his records that is unlikely to ever be broken.

Soon after he was into a typically brilliant opening spell from the Pavilion End, nipping the ball down the slope and through Brathwaite’s defence. Anderson’s first spell of five overs contained four maidens.

Woakes was down on pace and gave way to Stokes, who needed only three deliveries to pin McKenzie leg-before for his 200th Test wicket, a milestone that seemed unlikely during his long struggle with a left-knee injury.

It made the skipper only the third man in Test cricket, after all-time greats Sir Garfield Sobers and Jacques Kallis, to complete the double of 6,000 runs and 200 wickets, and he celebrated by having Louis caught behind.

Atkinson continued his fine game by having Kavem Hodge chop on. Athanaze was defying England in the gloom until he became yet another victim that Anderson has suckered into an edge.

Holder faced 59 deliveries for his 20 only to fend Atkinson to short leg from the last ball of the day, leaving Da Silva on eight and Anderson poised to say goodbye. (BBC)

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