Adrian Barath’s unbeaten 41 helped the West Indies to 83 for two at lunch on the first day of the first Test against England at Lord’s yesterday.
The West Indies were suffering an all too familiar top-order struggle at 32 for two, after England strike bowler James Anderson had removed Kieran Powell and Kirk Edwards.
However, opener Barath refused to be cowed and with Darren Bravo (27 not out) offered solid support in an unbroken stand of 51. The West Indies — who came into this match having won just two of their previous 30 Tests — got through the session without losing any more wickets against the world’s No. 1-ranked side.
England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and elected to field, doubtless hoping his seamers would exploit the overcast conditions.
However, with Barath unfurling several cover-driven boundaries, England did not have things all their own way.
Powell, who made a century against the second-string England Lions last week, fell for 5 when Anderson, after moving several deliveries away from the left-hander, expertly swung one back in.
Powell was late with his defensive shot and was bowled off-stump to leave West Indies 13 for one in the ninth over.
Anderson was in the wickets again when Edwards, aiming across the line of a full-length delivery, was LBW for 1.
At that stage, Anderson had taken two wickets for nine runs in 19 balls.
Barath struck his sixth four in just 25 runs when Stuart Broad felt the force of his cover-drive, while off-spinner Graeme Swann was denied a customary early wicket.