England suffered a setback even before the second test match started when they were forced to leave out Jofra Archer after the fast bowler admitted to breaking coronavirus protocols. Dom Sibley unbeaten 86 helped England to recover from an early collapse to be 207/3 at stumps on the first day of the second Test match against the Windies at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Opener batsman Sibley batted 82 overs for almost six hours at the crease to post his second fifty of the series. England who has to win 2nd Test match to level the three match contest were in trouble at 29-2 after the spinner Roston Chase took two wickets in two balls post lunch.
But the twice dropped Sibley & Ben Stokes got England back into the game with an unbroken partnership of 126 after they lost the toss in the start of the game. Archer has left the bio-secure bubble where his teammates were staying to go home to Brighton on Monday following the end of the first Test, before the team travelled up to Manchester.
His absence has deprived England from having speed on the pitch that assists fast bowlers after the hosts had already decided to rest Mark Wood, as well as James Anderson.
In the second Test match after lunch, Chase struck with his second ball to have Rory Burns Lbw for 15. England Captain Joe Root who missed his first test match at Southampton has survived a hat-trick. Whereas West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel who is the man of the match at Southampton was off the field due to injury.
But young pacemen Alzarri Joseph lured Root, then on 23, into chasing a ball outside off stump, with second slip Holder catching a thick edge. Sibley had another worrying moment when he reached 82 as he survived LBW appeal from the fast bowler Roach on umpire’s call. The all-rounder Stokes is back in rank after the skipper at Southampton required 119 balls to reach his fifty when a sluggish outfield deprived England of several boundaries.
As happened during the first test match players from both the teams & the umpires took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before play started at Old Trafford.