1st Test, Day 4 Lunch Report: England Openers Cut Down West Indies Lead in Southampton
Rory Burns in action during 1st Test between England and West Indies©ICC

England openers Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley staged a fine fightback against West Indies in the first session on the penultimate day of the first Test of series at Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Saturday. The English duo put on a 72-run opening partnership in their second innings as England cut down West Indies’ first-innings lead to just 35 runs till Lunch.

Starting from an overnight score of 15/0, the openers displayed steady batsmanship to keep the visitors’ bowlers at bay for the most part of the morning.

Burns and Sibley played with extreme patience as the duo faced a combined total of 217 deliveries for their 72-run stand. Credit should also be given to Jason Holder and Co as none of the bowlers gave away easy runs and kept England’s run-rate under two throughout.

Just a couple of overs before Lunch, Burns lost his concentration and was dismissed for 42 by spinner Roston Chase. He top-edged a delivery and was caught by John Campbell at backward point.

Sibley then joined forces with Joe Denly and the duo ensured England went into the break with nine wickets in hand. The match remains evenly poised and the second session will be crucial for both the teams.

Brief Scores: England 204 all-out and 79/1 (Burns 42, Sibley 31*; Chase 1/17) ; West Indies 318 all-out (Brathwaite 65, Dowrich 61, Stokes 4/49)