ST GEORGE’S – England were 46 for three in their first innings against West Indies at lunch on the first day of the deciding third Test on Thursday at the National Cricket Stadium in the Spice Isle of Grenada.
At the interval, Alex Lees was not out on 26 and fellow left-hander Ben Stokes was yet to score, after the Windies won the toss and sent England in to bat.
Ambidextrous all-rounder Kyle Mayers, playing for the first time in the series, gave West Indies a bright start to the Test snaring the scalps of opener Zak Crawley and prolific England captain Joe Root – both century-makers in the series – in the first hour of play.
Mayers has taken the flattering figures of 2-0 from five overs with him into lunch, but he worryingly spent most of the second hour of the morning session off the field with a suspected tight hamstring.
The Windies unsuccessfully reviewed an lbw verdict from umpire Gregory Brathwaite in the fifth over when pacer Kemar Roach struck Crawley, on one, outside the off-stump, which the TV ball-tracking technology confirmed.
But Mayers got the breakthrough for the hosts in his second over when Crawley drove uppishly and was caught at extra over for seven.
Mayers, who bowls right-arm pace, but bats left-handed, set back England further in his next over when Root edged a well-pitched delivery outside the off-stump and was caught behind for a duck.
The Caribbean side wasted the second of three reviews when they unsuccessfully challenged an lbw verdict from umpire Joel Wilson in the next over when Jason Holder got a delivery to move back sharply into Dan Lawrence, yet to score, but the ball-tracking technology suggested it was clearly going down the leg-side.
Pacer Jayden Seales tightened the grip of West Indies when he got Lawrence lbw for eight with a similar delivery to Holder’s in the penultimate over of the morning sessions, and the England batsman unsuccessfully reviewed Wilson’s verdict, with ball tracking indicating the delivery was going to hit leg-stump.
Both sides made one change to their line-ups from the previous match, with the Windies replacing left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul with Mayers, and the English bringing back Craig Overton for fellow pacer Matthew Fisher after overcoming the illness that sidelined him in Barbados.
The three-Test series for the Vivian Richards and Ian Botham Trophy is level at 0-0 after the first two Tests in the series – ending two Saturdays ago at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, and last Sunday at Kensington Oval in Barbados – were drawn.
ENGLAND 46 for three (Alex Lees 26 not out; Kyle Mayers 2-0) vs WEST INDIES.