England toil as Samuels digs in on opening day

Ross McLean
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ENGLAND have work to do in the field today after snaring just five West Indies wickets on the opening day of the second Test in Grenada having invited their hosts to bat on a pitch initially receptive to swing bowling.

Only 70 overs were possible on day one after the start was delayed by rain and bad light caused a premature close, with proceedings finely poised and the West Indies on 188-5.

Seamer James Anderson, fresh from assuming the status of England’s greatest ever wicket taker in Antigua, produced a beautiful inswinging delivery to bowl Kraigg Brathwaite and leave the West Indies struggling at 2-1.

Fellow opener Devon Smith fell to Chris Jordan, caught behind by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, for 15 while Stuart Broad, who appeared down on pace, had Darren Bravo snaffled at first slip by skipper Alastair Cook while on 35.

All-rounder Ben Stokes picked up the wicket of dangerman Shivnarine Chanderpaul cheaply while Jermaine Blackwood, a centurion during the first Test, made 26 before being dismissed by Jordan to leave the West Indies reeling at 129-5. But as the pitch became increasingly slow and turgid, Marlon Samuels – dropped by Cook on 32 – took full advantage of the lifeless conditions to initiate a fightback with an unbeaten 94, while captain Denesh Ramdin will resume on six after a watchful vigil.

Spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali replaced off-spinner James Tredwell from the side which played out an attritional draw in Antigua, but appeared ring rusty having been on the sidelines since suffering an abdominal strain at the World Cup.

Stokes was England’s main threat, touching speeds of 90mph with the ball, having earlier jarred his knee while fielding.