England started the New Year in disastrous fashion as they were bundled out for 77 in the first Test against West Indies at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. The hosts, who made 289 in the first innings thanks to Shimron Hetmyer’s 81, responded in dazzling style. Kemar Roach took 5/17 as England were bundled out for 77, four less than Hetmyer’s individual score. Although England struck back by reducing West Indies to 127/6, the lead is now 339 and Jason Holder’s side are in a good position to take the series lead on a day when 18 wickets fell. James Anderson’s 27th five-wicket haul, which put him level with Sir Ian Botham’s tally, had given England some hope but it all evaporated in a sensational spell from Roach, who picked up his ninth-five wicket haul.
England had started on a wrong note as they lost Keaton Jennings (17) and Rory Burns (2) cheaply. However, things went totally downhill for Joe Root’s side as they lost five wickets for four runs in 27 balls of mayhem from Roach and Holder. The right-arm pacer accounted for Jonny Bairstow (12) with a sharp bouncer and the batsman tried to fend the delivery only to edge it back onto the stumps. Holder got his counterpart Root (4) with a full delivery that slanted back in to trap him plumb in front. Roach got the big wicket of Ben Stokes (0) by getting him LBW which could not be overturned even on review. The demolition job continued as Moeen Ali (0) got a short ball to climb up and the batsman could only get a top edge to fine leg. Jos Buttler hit a boundary but Roach duly completed his five-wicket haul with another short ball which Buttler only managed to poke to the keeper.
England’s Calypso Collapso woes
This was the third instance where England has been bowled out for under 100 in a Test in the Caribbean. The common factor behind all their low scores has been sensational bowling spells from one of the main West Indies fast bowlers. The first instance was in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1994 in which England were bowled out for 46 chasing 194. Curtly Ambrose picked up 6/24 and the highest individual score for England was 18 by Michael Atherton.
The next instance was in 2009 when they were bundled out for 51 in the first Test at Sabina Park, Kingston. Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan hit centuries to give West Indies a 74-run lead. However, in a sensational spell from Jerome Taylor, the right-arm pacer took 5/11 and was ably backed by left-arm spinner Suleiman Benn’s 4/31 as they suffered an innings and 21-run loss to lose the five-match series 1-0.
Recently, during the Pink Ball Test against New Zealand at Auckland, England were reduced to 27/9 with Trent Boult and Tim Southee decimating the top order and it took a rearguard 33 from Craig Overton to help them reach 58, their sixth-lowest total in Test history.