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Disciplined Sibley, Stokes lead England dominance on opening day
Day One Report

Disciplined Sibley, Stokes lead England dominance on opening day

Dom Sibley demonstrated astounding levels of concentration in his unbeaten 86 alongside an equally watchful Ben Stokes as the duo helped England recover from an early collapse to be 207-3 at stumps on day one of the second Test against West Indies.

Sibley's undefeated stay at the crease was marked by dogged strokeplay as he cautiously navigated his way against a feisty bowling display from the visitors.

The Warwickshire opener was involved in an unbroken stand of 126 with star all-rounder Stokes with both batsmen employing a patient approach to tackle the opposition's attack.

Sibley's half-century is his second successive fifty of the series and came at a time when England looked to be in trouble with the loss of two wickets for a cheap score after losing the toss in overcast conditions.

Roston Chase took two wickets on either side of lunch to put the hosts in a spot of bother before skipper Joe Root briefly rescued them.

Despite a couple of elegant shots in his knock of 23, Root seemed rather rusty in his first game since the coronavirus-enforced break from the game.

Root had missed his side's four-wicket loss in last week's clash at Southampton as he was on paternity leave and strode out today to face the hat-trick ball from Chase.

He survived the delivery, causing no further drama in Chase's remarkable over, but later perished to Alzarri Joseph, who used the width of the crease to lure a faulty shot from Root.

Root's wicket was a huge setback for England but Stokes ensured there were no more inroads for the West Indies as Jason Holder's men rued missed chances in the latter half of the day.

Sibley had a let-off shortly before the tea interval when the man stationed at short-leg failed to hold onto a tough chance.

He was then reprieved via a drop from Holder with the West Indies skipper making a mess of a routine slip catch off the bowling of previous Test's player of the match Shannon Gabriel.

The usually fluent Stokes struggled for timing on the damp pitch and the wet outfield but managed to reach his fifty off 119 balls.

England entered the Test with a significant blow hours before the game began as they were forced to exclude Jofra Archer from the lineup for breaking biosecurity protocols.

Archer did not respect the rules in place at the biosecure bubble as he had decided to make a short stay at his home in Brighton ahead of joining the squad on Monday.

His absence affords a completely different outlook to England's pace attack for the second Test with Mark Wood and James Anderson already rested.

They are thus playing with the trio of Sam Curran, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes with Stokes acting as the fourth seamer.

West Indies' quicks took some time in finding the right lengths in the first session. On the stroke of lunch, Chase bamboozled opener Rory Burns with an 'arm ball' to help his team get a crucial breakthrough. The first ball after lunch saw Zak Crawley tamely steer the ball towards Holder at leg-slip.

In a repeat of the gesture from the first Test, players from both teams and the match officials took a knee in support of the global anti-racism campaign before play started.