England have built a strong foundation on the day one of the second Test at Old Trafford – reaching 207-3 at stumps.
All the talk prior to the toss was about Jofra Archer, who broke COVID protocol on his way from the Ageas Bowl and as such was unavailable for England.
With Jimmy Anderson and Mark Wood also rested, that meant that Chris Silverwood’s side had a new-look seam bowling attack for the second Test – other than Ben Stokes – with Stuart Broad, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes getting the nod.
Stokesy was back as vice-captain as Joe Root returned to the side in place of Joe Denly, with Zak Crawley up to number three.
It was another delayed start at Old Trafford but Jason Holder won the toss for the West Indies, asking England to bat first in gloomy and overcast conditions.
Rory Burns and Dom Sibley made a measured start in the hour before Lunch but wickets for Roston Chase either side of the interval set them back.
First, Burns was trapped in front by the off-spinner and then, the first ball after Lunch, Crawley clipped one round the corner and right into the hands of Holder at leg-slip.
That brought the skipper to the crease and he made a positive start alongside Sibley but his first innings in months came to an end for 23 after flashing at a wide one from Alzarri Joseph.
England looked as though they could be in some trouble but the Vicar of Sibley and Stokesy produced a fantastic partnership of 126 to ensure that day one belonged to Rooty’s men.
Three Lions fans have long called for a player with patience and grit similar to the Chef and Sibbers showed just that today – making 86 off 253 balls.
Stokesy on the charge just before tea 💪
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 16, 2020
As is his nature, Stokesy’s innings was played slightly more on the front foot, including a towering six off Chase before Tea, and he reached 59 off 159 balls by the end of the day.
The duo have built a fantastic foundation for England, who will be looking to pile on some more first innings runs when things get back underway tomorrow.