Cricket

Eng vs WI | Rain dampens cricket’s return

Oh, no! Dom Sibley’s error in judging a Shannon Gabriel delivery proves fatal.

Oh, no! Dom Sibley’s error in judging a Shannon Gabriel delivery proves fatal.  

After a 116-day absence, international cricket returned in familiar fashion on Wednesday as rain delayed the first Test between England and West Indies before the host lost Dom Sibley for 0 and then reached 35 for one as bad light brought an early tea.

Players from both teams “took a knee” for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) campaign before the match started, having observed a minute’s silence to mark the victims of the novel coronavirus and also former West Indies batsman Everton Weekes, who died last week.

Stand-in England captain Ben Stokes opted to bat under overcast skies.

Only three overs were possible before the rain returned, but that was enough for Shannon Gabriel to take the first wicket of the three-match series as Sibley was bowled by a ball he left but which cut back to clip the off-stump.

Watch | International cricket returns after four months
 

After further rain delays, England eventually settled to its task. Burns was not out on 20 and Joe Denly on 14 when bad light brought them off half-an-hour before the scheduled tea break.

Kemar Roach was the pick of the West Indies bowlers, giving up two runs from his six overs.

No place for Broad

England’s top end batting remains something of a work in progress but the strength in depth of its bowling options was illustrated by the decision to leave seamer Stuart Broad out of a home Test match for the first time since 2012.

Pace duo Jofra Archer and Mark Wood will spearhead the attack.

Variations

This series will feature many variations from a regular Test due to the virus restrictions. There are home umpires, first time in England since 2002, and each team will have three referrals instead of two per innings.

Players are not allowed to use saliva to polish the ball and umpires will not take jumpers and caps from bowlers.

The playing XIs: England: Ben Stokes (Capt.), Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Denly, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, and Dominic Bess.

West Indies: Jason Holder (Capt.), Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks, Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich (wk), Roston Chase, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, and Alzarri Joseph.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 2:49:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/eng-vs-wi-rain-dampens-crickets-return/article32025810.ece

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