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World Test Championship

Honours even after rain-shortened first day

Eng v WI, 1st Test, day one, report

Just 17.4 overs were possible on the first day in Southampton, with an early wicket for Shannon Gabriel countered by a gritty partnership between Rory Burns and Joe Denly.


Both sides observed a minute's silence before play to remember Everton Weekes, who died last week, as well as all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. The players and umpires also took a knee as a sign of support to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Only three overs were possible before rain forced the players back off the pitch, with England opting to bat after a delayed start. Despite the minimal play there was plenty of excitement. Kemar Roach nearly got Rory Burns in the first over, with the left-handed opener leaving a ball angled into him from around the wicket and was struck on the pad. Shannon Gabriel beat Dom Sibley's outside edge, before bowling him as the England opener left a straight one next ball.

Further rain brought a second delay to proceedings before play resumed briefly, but after only seven more balls the rain began to fall once more.

The first boundary in international cricket for nearly four months came from Burns' bat as he clipped an over-pitched delivery from Gabriel through mid-wicket shortly after the players took the field for the third time in the day. Denly struck his first boundary with a flashing cut shot in Gabriel's next over.

There were more scares for the batsmen, most notably when Denly attempted to drive a wide ball from Gabriel, succeeding only in edging the ball through a gap in the slip cordon.

Denly and Burns continued to scrap as Alzarri Joseph and Jason Holder took over from the opening bowlers, but West Indies' bowlers weren't able to generate any genuine chances despite drawing several false shots.

Heavy clouds drew in overhead, and bad light forced the players back to the dressing room for what proved to be the final time in the day.

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