England’s batsmen are under immense pressure in the first Test against the West Indies after the tourists made 318 in their first innings before the hosts reached stumps on day three on 15-0 (West Indies 7/5, England 17/10, Draw 5/2).
The Windies started the day on 57-1 and some eye-catching displays with the bat put them in control at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
Both Kraigg Braithwaite and Shane Dowrich struck fifties and England were punished for mistakes in the field, as well as their poor first innings score.
Braithwaite eventually fell for 65, while Dowrich reached 61 before making his way to the pavilion. Roston Chase’s 47 also helped their cause, while Shamarh Brooks chipped in with 39.
Any doubts about West Indies’ rearguard were soon forgotten as they kicked on during the sunnier conditions.
England’s bowlers looked tired in parts but Ben Stokes had something to smile about as he claimed his 150th Test wicket, eventually finishing with figures of 4-49.
Seamer James Anderson (3-62) did his best to keep the West Indies at bay, while both Jofra Archer and Mark Wood flattered to deceive, although Wood did claim a wicket late on.
England did manage to make a positive start to their second innings, with Dom Sibley and Rory Burns withstanding some heavy pressure to reach 15-0 and reduce West Indies’ lead to 99.
Anderson has challenged his team-mates to lay down a marker at the Rose Bowl, by batting into Sunday as they try to win their first match of the summer.
He told Test Match Special: “We’re certainly behind at the moment, we have a lot of work to do to get back into the game.
“We have to bat the whole day tomorrow and get a decent lead to give us any chance of winning the game.”