West Indies build lead over England in first Test


And there was still time for Windies spearhead Shannon Gabriel (3-62) to bowl Dom Bess and Ollie Pope.

With Stokes looking confident and driving crisply at the other end the lead had swelled to 97 when the second new ball arrived.

Joseph was also impressive, taking 2-40 off 16 overs.

Stokes, who earlier appeared to be struggling with soreness as he worked through his decisive final spell, accounted for top-scorers Kraigg Brathwaite (65) and Shane Dowrich (61) as well as his fellow all-rounder and rival skipper Jason Holder.

None of what followed should take away from Crawley's efforts, with the 22-year-old showing maturity beyond both his years and his five worldwide caps to produce the highest score of the match amid high tension.

Victory on Sunday, however, would put them 1-0 up with two to play.

With the England attack proving ineffective, West Indies safely navigated the first hour before losing Hope three deliveries after the drinks break, when he edged an ambitious drive at Bess for Stokes at first slip to snare an easy catch at 102 for two.

He eventually finished with figures of four 49 as England bundled out West Indies for 318 in reply to their first-inning score of 204.

Crawley said the pitch might be getting slightly harder to bat on.

But the 22-year-old, in his fifth Test, completed a well-made fifty when he reverse-swept off-spinner Roston Chase for four before surpassing his previous best of 66 against South Africa at Johannesburg in January. "I didn't expect anything different".

But just after Stokes had fallen to Holder Crawley was undone trying to turn Joseph to leg and instead offering a sharp return catch.

Then the whole complexion of the fourth day and perhaps this first of three Tests dramatically changed.

Off-spinner Roston Chase, who took a career-best eight-wicket haul against England in Barbados a year ago bowled with consistent accuracy but was flattered by the wickets of Rory Burns for 42 and Joe Denly for 29.

Openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley laid a firm foundation, soaking up 10 taxing overs on the third evening and then continuing their good work in the morning session. The celebrations were soon hushed as third umpire Michael Gough called a very tight no-ball. It was the sixth time in his past 10 Tests that Holder, the world's top-ranked all-rounder, had taken five wickets in an innings.

The former slashed straight to point just before lunch after an otherwise composed knock, while the latter flicked tamely to short midwicket for another unpersuasive contribution.

The second innings had been billed as a contest between Crawley and Joe Denly for the number three spot upon Joe Root's return, and Denly could not match his Essex counterpart's effort.

West Indies resumed behind closed doors on 57-1, with the first sunny blue skies of the match providing ideal conditions for batting.



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