Roach strikes before rain sets in


By Alan Gardner

Lunch England 64 for 5 (Stokes 24*, Bairstow 0*) trail West Indies 123 (Stokes 6-22) by 59 runs

Kemar Roach produced another demanding ball taking Dawid Malan

Only 4.2 overs were possible on a rain-lashed morning of the second day at Lord’s, although that was enough time for West Indies to take a fifth wicket and extend England’s head-scratching over the make up of their top order.

Play was delayed by 15 minutes, which was a commendable effort from the groundstaff as rain fell heavily less than half an hour before the scheduled 11am start. When the teams did get out, with the floodlights blazing in the gloom, England managed to add 18 runs for the loss of Dawid Malan before the forecast bad weather closed in again.

Malan had struck one crisp cover drive for four off Shannon Gabriel but was undone a few minutes before play was curtailed. Kemar Roach produced another demanding ball from the Nursery End – similar to that which did for Alastair Cook on the first evening – holding its line up the slope to take the outside edge.

That ended a 39-run stand with Ben Stokes and, although Malan managed only 20, it did at least mean he had doubled the first-innings contribution of England’s top five.

There were a couple more boundaries for Stokes, as he looked to be positive despite the conditions, but Jonny Bairstow had faced only his third ball when the umpires decided that persistent rainfall had become too heavy for them to continue.

The prospects for the rest of the day were not overly encouraging, with lunch taken at 12.30pm and the covers fully on as banks of dark cloud squatted over north London. However, with 15 wickets having fallen in little more than 80 overs so far, there is still plenty of time for the series decider to reach a conclusion. (ESPNcricinfo)



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