Holder and Dowrich pile on misery for England

Bridgetown (Barbados) (AFP) –


Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich turned the screws on a flagging England side as the West Indies' seventh-wicket pairing reached lunch at 237 for six in their second innings on the third day of the first Test at Kensington Oval on Friday.

Resuming from the overnight position of 127 for six, and with a first innings lead of 212 after demolishing the tourists on the second afternoon for just 77, the pair batted through the two hours of play to extend the home side's overall advantage to what already looks an insurmountable 449 runs.

Holder, the West Indies captain, was the dominant partner in reaching 80 at the break with wicketkeeper-batsman Dowrich on 61.

Their partnership has blossomed to the tune of 117 runs and while England already have been played completely out of the match, the amount of time still available in the scheduled five-day fixture suggest both will have more than enough time to complete what would be third Test centuries for each before considering a declaration or continuing to pile on the runs through the afternoon.

England, clearly dispirited after being routed the previous day for the lowest innings total in 89 years of Test cricket Kensington Oval and their fourth-lowest against the West Indies, relied at the start of play on James Anderson and Ben Stokes to provide an early breakthrough.

But Holder and Dowrich were in no mood to exercise mercy with the pair keeping the scoreboard ticking over without taking any risks.

They eventually ventured into more extravagant strokeplay as the morning wore on with all-rounder Holder unfurling a succession of fluent off-drives with the introduction of spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

It was Ali who triggered a collapse at the start of the West Indies second innings late on the second day.

However he posed no real threat on this occasion to the Barbadian duo who revelled in plundering the bowling at their home ground, even if the vast majority of fans in the stands were England supporters.

Rashid was again expensive, being launched for six by Holder immediately as he was brought into the attack.

Holder brought up the hundred partnership with another six, this time off Sam Curran, the left-arm seamer whose inclusion at the expense of the experienced Stuart Broad has become an increasingly contentious issue given England's first innings disintegration to genuine pace in this match.