West Indies were left to rue missed opportunities as several players made starts but failed to capitalise on chances to make big scores before a late collapse under the light handed momentum to England.
Hosts make a solid start
The major talking point during the morning session surrounded the team selection of both squads. Stuart Broad was sidelined in favour of Sam Curran but the young seamer failed to make an impact as Windies debutant John Campbell put the tourists to the sword.
However, when closing in on a maiden 50, the opener showed his inexperience as he swept across the line to be trapped LBW by Moeen Ali.
Yet West Indies kept their spirits up and continued to build some momentum as arguably their most reliable batsman, Shai Hope, helped them past 100 alongside Kraigg Brathwaite.
England did manage to wrestle back some of the initiative as two wickets fell to Ben Stokes in quick succession. Brathwaite clipped to Joe Root on 40 before Darren Bravo’s return to Test cricket was abruptly ended just two overs later.
Windies continue to build before late collapse
Down at the other end, Hope was proving a thorn for the England bowling attack. At 174-3, James Anderson finally got a breakthrough after a patient spell of just 14 runs conceded in as many overs. The number four saw the ball cut off his inside edge to wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
The response from West Indies was to counter-attack. Shimron Hetmyer joined Roston Chase with the former working at a run a ball. All of a sudden, the hosts were coasting on 240-4.
Then came seven overs that completely transformed the momentum of the contest. Four wickets, those of Chase, Shane Dowrich, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach, fell for just 24 runs as Anderson caused havoc on an uneven pitch with the new ball.
England’s premier bowler took three scalps and Stokes picked up another as the home fans were left scratching their heads. The decision for Hetmyer to leave the strike to Roach with a minimal average under fading light did not appear to be a tactically adept move.
You would expect England to skittle West Indies quickly on day two and then it is over to the batters as the pitch begins to deteriorate.