Saturday 9th February 2019

Event of the Day: West Indies versus England

Our event of the day is the first day of the third Test between the West Indies and England at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on St Lucia. England are playing for pride and reputation as they come into this Test having lost the first two Tests of this three-Test series. The West Indies have dominated on both sides of play and another fine display of cricket can be expected today. England’s Test woes continue in the West Indies. They enter the third and final Test of the tour having already lost the series and are simply looking to avoid a sweep. They had started well enough in the second Test, with half-centuries from Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali helping them to a first innings total of 187. However, the West Indies came out swinging. The star of their 306-run first innings was Darren Bravo. Bravo came in the first over after lunch and would not leave the crease for the next five hours, facing 216 balls and scoring a half-century before becoming the West Indies’ final wicket of the innings. In the second inning, England collapsed and failed to surpass 150 runs, finishing the second innings on just 132. Jos Butler’s 24 runs was the highest individual run total by an English batter, and the only English batter to score more than 20 in the second innings.

That left the West Indies a target of 14 to chase. They only needed 13 balls to surpass England’s total, ending the second Test on its third day. The West Indies bowling unit were the stars of the Test, recording 30 maiden overs in the 102.1 overs they bowled to England with an Economy of 3.05. Looking ahead to today’s action, there are more worries than just team performance for England. Ben Stokes missed practice on Wednesday after suffering a foot injury during a team workout. Stokes has hit 59 runs across the two Tests for England, as well as bowling 77 overs, taking 8 wickets with an Economy of 2.57. Stokes’ potential replacement, Chris Woakes, is also questionable and has been nursing a knee injury. Finally, there is the bruised hand of wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, which he sustained during the second Test. The loss of Foakes means that Keaton Jennings might return to the team after recently being dropped. England, who have dropped to 5th in the world following this series defeat, need to rally in the final Test and the subsequent ODI series if they want to assuage fears about how they may perform in this year’s World Cup and Ashes. Given what has happened so far in this Test series, it is sure to be an exciting day of cricket. 

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the Six Nations, where Scotland host Ireland at Murrayfield Stadium. Scotland started their tournament with a rousing 33-20 victory over Italy in front of their home crowd. Meanwhile, Ireland were stunned by England, losing 32-20 in a major upset. They will look to bounce back against the Scots, a team they routed 28-8 in last year’s competition. It’s sure to be an exciting match in Edinburgh. Elsewhere, in the NBA, the Houston Rockets host the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Toyota Center. James Harden, playing some of the best basketball of his career, is leading the Rockets at they fight for a high playoff seeding in the West. The Thunder are one of the teams they are competing with, as they currently sit in 3rd, as opposed to Houston’s current 5th place position. The power pairing of Russell Westbrook and Paul George have helped OKC to another strong season so far. Whatever happens tonight, you won’t want to miss it. On the European Tour, the Vic Open continues at the 13th Beach Golf Links in Australia. In the NHL, the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames face off at the Rogers Arena. The quarterfinals of the Fed Cup begin in various stadiums around the world. 

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy! 

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Photos by ICC Cricket

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