CRICKET-Roach flattens England as Windies take command


Seamer Kemar Roach’s ninth career five-wicket haul sent a shell-shocked England reeling for a record low at Kensington Oval, as 18 wickets tumbled on a dramatic second day of the opening Test here Thursday.

In a sensational session after lunch, England lost their last nine wickets for 47 runs to crash from 30 for one to 77 all out, 15 minutes before the scheduled tea interval, with the 30-year-old Roach claiming five for 17 in a brilliant spell.

Captain Jason Holder (2-15) and fellow seamer Alzarri Joseph (2-20) grabbed two wickets apiece to support Roach.

England’s total was their fourth lowest against West Indies, handing the hosts a healthy lead of 212 runs.

Opting not to enforce the follow on, West Indies lost precious wickets to end the day on 127 for six, still a crucial lead of 339 runs heading into Friday pivotal third day.

They were well placed at 52 without loss but lost five quick wickets for nine runs in the space of 28 deliveries, before Shimron Hetmyer (31) and Shane Dowrich (27 not out) added an invaluable 59 for the sixth wicket to frustrate England.

The left-handed Hetmyer had earlier top-scored with 81 as West Indies were dismissed for 289 just shy of the hour mark in the first session.

Fast bowler Kemar Roach is embraced by Shimron Hetmyer during his five-wicket haul against England on Thursday.

Resuming on 56 with the Windies on 264 for eight, the 22-year-old was last out after edging a heave at seamer Ben Stokes (4-59) to be caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes jumping high to his left.

He faced 109 balls in just over 2-½ hours, striking nine fours and two sixes.

Hetmyer had earlier extended his ninth wicket stand with Alzarri Joseph to 25 before the two were separated, 50 minutes into the day’s play when Joseph edged fast bowler James Anderson (5-46) to Jos Buttler at third slip.

Faced with just under an hour to navigate before lunch, England lost left-hander Keaton Jennings for 17, nine minutes before the interval, when he sliced seamer Jason Holder to Shai Hope at gully.

The visitors reached the break at 30 for one but there was still no sign of the carnage to come, even when opener Rory Burns played on to the fourth ball after lunch from Roach without adding to his two.

However, Roach then scythed through the middle order in a period of sheer horror for the visitors, as they lost five wickets for five runs in the space of 45 balls.

In his next over, Roach got Jonny Bairstow (12) to play on in the third over after lunch with the score on 44 and captain Joe Root (4) followed without addition to the total, hit in front by Holder.

With the score on 48, Roach removed Stokes and Moeen Ali both without scoring, off successive deliveries. Stokes was forced back and trapped lbw while Moeen top-edged a pull next ball and was brilliantly taken on the long leg ropes by Joseph.

Roach then got his fifth when he had Jos Buttler (4) in his next over caught at the wicket, and Joseph claimed two of the last three wickets to fall, while speedster Shannon Gabriel got the other in a second spell, as England folded spectacularly.

For the second time in the match, debutant John Campbell and and Kraigg Brathwaite set West Indies on their way with a half-century opening stand, which again kept England without any early success after tea.

The left-handed Campbell top-scored with 33 off 64 balls with one four and a six while Brathwaite added 24 before playing back and falling lbw to Moeen’s (3-41) off-spin, nearing the first hour.

Campbell wasted a good start when he toe-ended a slap at a long hop from Stokes (2-31) and was caught at short cover by Jennings in the first over after the drinks break at 60 for two.

And three wickets then fell with the score on 61 as Darren Bravo (1) and Roston Chase (0) perished to catches at slip by Stokes off Moeen, before Hope was taken at short leg off Stokes.

As he did in the first innings, Hetmyer came to the Windies rescue, hitting a couple of fours and audacious sixes as he repaired the damage with Dowrich.

Disappointingly, however, he fell in the day’s final over, tapping a gentle drive to Buttler at point off left-armer Sam Curran.

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