Opener Kraig Braithwaite and wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich made welcome returns to form with resilient half-centuries on day three of the first Test against England to hand West Indies the advantage as they posted a 114-run lead after being dismissed for 318.
However England’s openers, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley withstood a superb spell of new-ball bowling to reduce that lead to 99 at the close of play.
When play had resumed earlier, Brathwaite and Shai Hope continued their stubborn resistance before James Anderson and Ben Stokes eventually made breakthroughs.
Hope in particular had a hard time of it and struggled for the majority of his innings and even got a reprieve after Jofra Archer had trapped him lbw only to have overstepped. However Hope fell in the very next over edging Dom Bess’ to be caught at slip.
Braithwaite on the other hand showed great concentration and patience to bring up his first half-century in almost two years just before lunch. He didn’t last to the lunch break though as he was given out lbw to an inswinger from Stokes, a decision which he reviewed but lost.
Shamarh Brooks and Roston Chase strung together a good partnership as they both defended well and Brooks looked set when he feathered an edge through to Jos Buttler, which brought Jermaine Blackwood to the crease. It was a brief stay as Blackwood became Bess’ second victim with a reckless charge down the pitch.
Enter Dowrich; he joined Chase to take West Indies safely to tea. Together the pair put on 81, the highest partnership, either side of tea as England laboured for a wicket.
It was Anderson who eventually found success with the new ball, trapping Chase lbw but West Indies were already on top by this point.
Stokes reached 150 Test wickets by taking Jason Holder cheaply and Alzarri Joseph after the latter had threatened with a couple of boundaries.
He also got the key wicket of Dowrich for 61, who edged through to Jos Buttler, before Mark Wood bowled Gabriel to leave West Indies with a first-innings lead of 114 at 318.
When England resume tomorrow, they will be on 15 without loss and 99 runs behind with Sibley and Rory Burns on 5 and 10 respectively.
England 15 for 0 (Sibley 5, Burns 10) and 204 trail West Indies 314 (Brathwaite 65, Dowrich 61, Stokes 4-49) by 99 runs.