Cricket back, in fits & starts
Cricket resumed after a 117-day absence despite the pandemic threat still on. But Day I of the England-West Indies Test at the Ageas Bowl turned out to be a stop-and-start affair.
The toss, won by England who opted to bat first, too got delayed with the game beginning not before 2pm local time, in a bio-secure environment.
Only 17.4 overs could be bowled with England cautiously placed at 35 for the loss of one wicket under overcast conditions. Tea was taken at that point as players had to leave the field due to insufficient light. The light remained murkier as stumps were called for the day.
Dom Sibley was the only man dismissed, offering no shot to a Shannon Gabriel delivery that held its line and hit the top of off stump. England were yet to get off the mark then.
The other opener, Rory Burns, and Joe Denly, though, looked steady since then.
It was the first time since 2012 that seamer Stuart Broad was left out of a home Test of England.
Both teams took a knee once they stepped on the field, and a minute’s silence was observed to mark the victims of coronavirus and also the passing of West Indies legend Everton Weekes, who died last week.
The atmosphere in the bio-secure environment did appear a tad weird, especially with the silence all around despite the fall of a wicket and the boundaries Burns and Denly hit.
Brief scores: England 35/1 (R. Burns 20, J. Denly 14; S. Gabriel 1/19). Stumps, Day I