A wet welcome


SOUTHAMPTON, July 8

After a 117-day absence, worldwide cricket returned in acquainted trend as we speak as rain delayed the primary Test between England and West Indies earlier than the hosts misplaced Dom Sibley for zero then reached 35/1 as dangerous gentle introduced an early tea.

Much else concerning the event felt very completely different, because the match is being performed in a “bio-secure environment” on the Ageas Bowl right here with day by day well being checks for everybody within the floor — with no followers current. Players from each groups “took a knee” earlier than the match began, having noticed a minute’s silence to mark the victims of the coronavirus and likewise former West Indies batsman Everton Weekes, who died final week.

West Indies’ gamers ‘take a knee’ in help of the Black Lives Matter motion earlier than the beginning of the Test. AFP

Ben Stokes, standing in as England captain for Joe Root, whose spouse has simply had a child, received the toss and opted to bat below overcast skies.

Only three overs had been attainable earlier than the rain returned, however that was lengthy sufficient for Shannon Gabriel to take the fist wicket of the three-match collection as Sibley was bowled by a ball he left however which reduce to clip off stump. After additional rain delays, England ultimately settled to their process. Burns was not out on 20 and Joe Denly on 14 when dangerous gentle introduced them off half-an-hour earlier than the scheduled tea break. Kemar Roach was the choose of the West Indies bowlers, giving up two runs from his six overs.

Broad overlooked

England’s high finish batting stays one thing of a piece in progress however the energy in depth of their bowling choices was illustrated by the choice to go away seamer Stuart Broad out of a house Test for the primary time since 2012. Pace duo Jofra Archer and Mark Wood will spearhead their assault.

It is sort of 4 months since England’s warm-up match in Sri Lanka was deserted as a result of Covid-19 menace and no cricket has been performed since. This collection will function many variations from an everyday Test as a result of virus restrictions. There are residence umpires — the primary time in England since 2002 — and due to that every workforce can have three referrals as a substitute of the standard two per innings.

Players should not allowed to make use of saliva to shine the ball and umpires won’t take jumpers and caps from bowlers. — Reuters

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