July 9, 2020, 7:47 p.m.
Jason Holder was outstanding with the ball, claiming career-best bowling figures as West Indies took advantage over England on the second day of the first #RaiseTheBat Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The captain, who is the leading allrounder in the world, took 6-42 to send England crashing in their first innings at tea.
He picked up four of the five wickets which fell in the post-lunch session after the bowling fireworks were started by fast bowler Shannon Gabriel who claimed 4-62 to confirm his fitness and made a superb return to the international stage. This marked the second time this century that two bowlers shared all 10 wickets for the West Indies in a Test innings.
England were bowled out for 204 and West Indies batted well to reach 57-1 when bad light forced the players and the officials off the field at 5:50pm for the second day in a row. John Campbell played well for a breezy 28, before he was leg-before to James Anderson, after he had twice reviewed and overturned LBW decisions. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite has been solid and will resume on 20 while Shai Hope is on three not out.
MATCH HIGHLIGHTS (Viewable to audiences in the Caribbean only):ENG v WI_1stTest_Day2_HLS_CWIPlay Video
“I felt really good today. It has been a while since we played. In the lead-up to this match, with my ankle I didn’t get as many overs, but it was great to go and get some good rhythm and get some wickets,” Holder said the Sandals Players’ Bubble.
“I only had three overs on day 1 and that was about trying to find my rhythm and settle down and even out my strides. After feeling out a few overs I got the rhythm I wanted. Using the crease is something I try to do and using the angles at the point of delivery. My role is to dry up runs and keep things tidy. I back myself to make things happen get a few wickets as well.”
“It was always our plan to bowl first. At the start if you asked me if I would take 200, I would say yes. Shannon was outstanding. He came in after not playing for a while and he’s a stroke force for us. He’s a weapon. His consistency was really good.”
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One of the highlights of the day came when Holder removed England keeper Jos Buttler – who was brilliantly caught one-handed by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich diving low to his right in front first slip.
The 28-year-old Holder, ranked at Number 3 in the ICC table, further enhanced his claims with a fine display of swing bowling which saw him record the best figures by a West Indies captain against England. The previous best was 5-31 at Bourda in 1948 by John Goddard, who like Holder hails from the Wanderers Cricket Club in Barbados; while the previous best in England was 5-41 by Garry Sobers at Headingley in 1966.
For Holder, he joined elite company among Test captains who have earned seven five-wicket haul – joint most by a West Indian alongside the magnificent Courtney Walsh. On the all-time list they stand behind Imran Khan (12), Richie Benaud (9) and Bishen Singh Bedi (8). Since the start of 2018 Holder has been the best bowler in the world with 59 wickets at an average of 13.49 in 12 matches.