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HomeSportsCricketSaqib Mahmood and Jack Leach save England blushes with excellent last-wicket stand

Saqib Mahmood and Jack Leach save England blushes with excellent last-wicket stand


England’s batting flopped on day one among their collection decider in opposition to the West Indies earlier than a last-wicket stand between Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood dragged them again from the brink.

After two lifeless pitch attracts in Antigua and Barbados, the vacationers had hoped for a livelier floor in Grenada however discovered their high order wanting when it arrived.

England have been circling the drain at 67 for seven within the afternoon session, with opener Alex Lees the one member of the line-up to achieve double figures, however recovered to an unlikely 204 all out on the again of the tail-end tenacity.

The Tenth-wicket pair batted for nearly two-and-a-half hours for a stand of 90, with Leach making a belligerent 41 not out and Mahmood dismissed for 49 within the ultimate act of the day.

Not solely was it a exceptional first Take a look at innings for the Lancashire man, it was additionally 15 greater than his career-best first-class rating.

Leach’s batting remains to be greatest remembered for his well-known one not out within the Ashes basic at Headingley in 2019, however with out Ben Stokes to cleared the path this time he discovered a much less possible confederate to avoid wasting the day.

Having earlier misplaced a clatter of 5 for 21 both aspect of lunch, in addition to skipper Joe Root earlier for a duck, the pair salvaged a foothold in a sport that might simply have disappeared by stumps.

Dwelling captain Kraigg Brathwaite was courageous sufficient to belief his bowlers after successful the toss and the gamble paid off because the dangerous habits that wrecked England’s Ashes marketing campaign resurfaced.

Lees and Zak Crawley started by blotting out just below an hour, with the dearth of recent ball possibilities absolutely nagging away at Brathwaite.

West Indies’ Kemar Roach celebrates de dismissal of England’s Alex Lees throughout day one among their third Take a look at cricket match on the Nationwide Cricket Stadium in St. George, Grenada, Thursday, March 24, 2022. (AP Picture/Ricardo Mazalan)

However the introduction of all-rounder Kyle Mayers, recalled right here instead of spinner Veerasammy Permaul, spared him any additional recriminations.

Settling in at a modest tempo round 75mph he preyed on Crawley’s cowl drive cravings, along with his first try lobbed gently into the arms of the catcher in entrance of sq..

Mayers adopted up with the large wicket of Root, enjoying within the hazard space outdoors off and nicking by way of to Josh Da Silva. Mayers signed off after 5 overs, having but to concede a run.

Kyle Mayers loved a positive opening spell (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

A 3rd wicket simply earlier than lunch made it the Windies’ session, Jayden Seales roaring again into the assault to pin Dan Lawrence in entrance of leg stump to depart England hanging in at 46 for 3.

With a interval of stability badly wanted, they as an alternative plunged themselves into strife.

Hopes of a Stokes bailout got here crashing down when an tried pull duffed off his high edge and sailed straight again to Alzarri Joseph as he adopted by way of.

By the point Lees and Jonny Bairstow each succumbed to outdoors edges, with Joseph and Kemar Roach fortunately looking as a duo, England had misplaced three wickets in 10 balls with out including to the scoreboard.

The West Indies didn’t enable the depth to dip and shortly had the timbers tumbling as they made probably the most of some helpful motion off the pitch.

Seales thundered in to bowl Ben Foakes by way of the gate, selecting a yawning hole between bat and pad, earlier than Roach carried out an identical trick to oust Craig Overton for 14.

Saqib Mahmood helped England battle again (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

The latter had at the very least proven some care and a focus to stem the streak of single-figure scores, with Chris Woakes following go well with for 25 earlier than he was cleaned up by Seales’ second ball after tea.

The innings might have reached a a lot swifter finish had Leach’s edge off Joseph been held by Mayers at slip, however it might show to be a harmful drop.

His partnership with Mahmood started as an irritation and escalated little by little because the ball softened and the bowling turned weary.

Mere survival gave option to one thing extra bold because the sideways motion dried up, with a number of overs of part-time spin failing to shift the steadiness.

Leach clubbed Jason Holder for a boundary with a flourish the bowler is not going to keep in mind fondly and, after being put down at level on 15, Mahmood introduced up the 150 by slugging Mayers for six over long-on.

England had already exceeded their worst fears however the Tenth-wicket stand lived on regardless of the arrival of the second new ball, ticking previous 200 when Mahmood crunched Joseph to the ropes.

He was dreaming of a maiden half-century however got here undone on the final second, bowled by Jermaine Blackwood within the closing over.



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