Joe Root and Ben Stokes rescue England against improved West Indies

first_imgShare on Facebook England v West Indies: second Test, day one – as it happened The door was ajar but West Indies were unable to barge it wide open. Their bowling was much improved on a deceptively inviting Headingley track but at crucial moments their catching was all too fallible. So some familiar names were able to restore a faltering England innings with considerable gusto.For the 12th Test in succession Joe Root posted a half-century, equalling the record set by AB de Villiers, while Ben Stokes, in barnstorming mode, plundered 100 from 122 balls, a devastating riposte after England’s early troubles. Share via Email Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Ben Stokes Gabriel thundered up the slope – he is one of those fast bowlers who visibly strains every sinew to conjure his pace – and the ball generally landed on target at around 90mph. In his fourth over he found the edge of Cook’s bat and from a sluggish surface there was still sufficient pace for the ball to carry to Kyle Hope at third slip.Now Roach intervened to dismiss Tom Westley in a manner that is already too familiar. The delivery was full in length and Westley sought to flick it through the onside. As at Edgbaston he missed and was lbw.Mark Stoneman had proceeded without many alarms – or many strokes of authority – when he drove at Roach only to be caught behind off the inside edge. Soon after Powell gave that life to Root; meanwhile Dawid Malan was becalmed by four consecutive maidens from Holder as England stuttered to lunch.After the interval Holder tried bowling round the wicket to Malan and was immediately rewarded when an inside edge slid on to the stumps. So the new triumvirate of batsmen had mustered 30 runs between them and the tour party conundrum remained. None of them had convinced on a day when Haseeb Hameed, Gary Ballance and Alex Hales suddenly became better players. There are a lot of names in the hat for Australia and there is no knowing how the selectors are going to pick them out. The selectors, one suspects, do not know either.Soon Stokes had his first reprieve and the tempo of the match changed. Root began to time the ball in his usual manner and it quickly became clear that Stokes was minded to grab the initiative. The cover drives often played with his left knee bent to the ground started to speed to the boundary. So out came the third slip, whereupon he edged through the ensuing gap; Roach even tried bowling to him with an eight-one off-side field but Stokes could not be shackled.Root, minded to dominate against the spinners, also began to accelerate. This determination may have brought his downfall. Sensing a huge gap behind square on the leg side, he tried an improvised sweep against Devendra Bishoo; the ball looped from the toe of Root’s bat to first slip.Jonny Bairstow did not last long, neatly caught at second slip by Holder off Gabriel, and Moeen Ali flickered only briefly after tea until he was caught at cover off Roach. But Stokes ensured a competitive total with a string of breathtaking strokes.There were disdainful flicked drives wide of mid-on from deliveries that would have missed off-stump and flamingo pull shots. In this mood he intimidates bowlers and, it seems, fielders, especially flaky ones like Gabriel. However, the muscular Trinidadian pacer soon atoned for his drop when he induced Stokes to edge a short ball to the keeper. In the same over the keeper, Shane Dowrich, dropped a sitter from Stuart Broad’s bat but Gabriel soon yorked him for a duck anyway and Woakes followed in the next over.So here was graphic confirmation of so many things already known. England still have the shakiest of upper orders, utterly over-dependent on Cook and Root; but they have their feisty combinations down below as demonstrated brilliantly by Stokes.Meanwhile there is potential within this West Indian side. At their best Gabriel and Roach are a handful; the former is the fastest bowler in the match, the latter can send the ball down with the seam ominously proud. But these tourists do not yet know how to seize the moment. Read more Read more Support The Guardian England cricket team Share on Messenger Topics Share on LinkedIn Share on Twittercenter_img Cricket Joe Root Since you’re here… England batting trio of Stoneman, Westley and Malan fail to convince Share on Pinterest Read more West Indies cricket team Yet England’s captain and vice-captain, the two youngest men in the team (find the precedent for that on a rainy day) were dropped before they had reached double figures. When Root was on eight and the score a paltry 44 for three, he edged a delivery from Shannon Gabriel straight to first slip and he had just begun to head back to the pavilion when he saw the ball go in and out of the hands of Kieran Powell.In the afternoon Stokes was on nine when he poked at a wide delivery from Kemar Roach; the edge produced a tougher chance for Kraigg Brathwaite at second slip. The ball raced through his hands to the boundary. Stokes would make them pay more severely.To increase the agony later in the day Stokes, on 98, was badly dropped by Gabriel at mid-on off Roach. From the next delivery he completed his sixth Test century. Extreme exhilaration for the fans was matched by almighty exasperation among the tourists.So England, with their batting bolstered by the presence of Chris Woakes at No9 yet still hampered by the three unconvincing newcomers at the top, finished with 258, which may yet be a working total. In reply West Indies are 19 for one after 12 tense overs, during which Powell presented Alastair Cook with his 150th catch in Test cricket from another superb Jimmy Anderson delivery.Batting was trickier than anticipated throughout most of the day; the straw-coloured surface was not so benign after all and a revamped West Indian attack displayed much more discipline and hostility than at Edgbaston. This was partly because of the presence of Gabriel. His day did not begin perfectly since he was mysteriously late on parade – a disgruntled 12th man had to be bundled out just before Gabriel trotted on to the pitch. Yet he soon dispensed any thoughts of a lack of commitment, rather than dodgy timekeeping. Share on WhatsApp match reports Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. England v West Indies 2017last_img read more

Police lay charges against man accused of jumping naked into shark tank

first_imgTORONTO – A British Columbia man is facing charges in two separate but related incidents in Toronto, including one where he’s accused of jumping naked into a shark tank at an aquarium.Toronto Police allege the first incident took place early Friday evening outside Medieval Times, where they say he assaulted a man.Two hours later, police allege the man went to Ripley’s Aquarium where they say he stripped off his clothes, vaulted a barrier and jumped into the tank.Videos posted online show a naked man swimming in the tank as sharks pass underneath, with a security guard yelling at him to get out of the water.David Weaver was arrested near Thunder Bay, Ont., earlier this week and was brought to Toronto to face three charges.Police say the 37-year-old is facing one count of assault causing bodily harm and two mischief-related charges.last_img read more