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Windies on top as England collapse again

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02nd-Feb-2019       
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Agency :
West Indies' surprising dominance of England continued on the opening day of the second Test with the home side's fast bowlers bundling out the visitors for 187 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Thursday.
Already 1-0 up in the three-match series, the Caribbean team's openers negotiated 21 testing overs to the close and the pair of Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell will resume on the second morning at 30 without loss in reply.
Thrashed by the comprehensive margin of 381 runs in the first Test in Barbados less than a week earlier, England again struggled to cope with the combined assault of the home side's pacers.
As in the first innings of the first Test when they were routed for just 77, Kemar Roach again led the assault with four wickets.
He was ably supported by the fastest of the quartet, Shannon Gabriel (three for 45) while Alzarri Joseph and captain Jason Holder combined for the remaining three wickets as they effectively exploited a green, sporting track to justify Holder's decision to put England in on winning the toss.
Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow struck contrasting half-centuries to avert a complete and abject capitulation again by the pre-series favourites whose captain suffered most from the vagaries of an uneven surface.
Facing fierce criticism in the wake of his side's abysmal showing in the series-opener, Joe Root was left in an even more rueful state midway through the morning session when Joseph produced a sharp lifter which looped from the handle of Root's bat for a back-pedalling Campbell at third slip to parry the ball upwards, allowing Shai Hope running around from gully to take a diving catch.
By then both openers had perished to Roach and Joseph, and when Holder chimed in with the wicket of Jos Buttler via a more comfortable slip catch to Campbell, England were in desperate need of resuscitation at 55 for four.
Bairstow offered a bit of breathing space towards the end of that first two hours' play, counter-attacking impressively to reach 52 off 64 balls with nine fours and a six only to fall in the very first over after lunch, Roach trapping him leg-before.
"I don't think you felt in because you always knew there was a ball in there that might bounce," said Bairstow of the batting conditions.

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