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Reprieved Stokes and Buttler lead England recovery


and featured in England's best of a deeply disappointing series as they lifted their team to 231 for four at stumps on the opening day of the third and final Test against the on Saturday.

Put in to bat by stand-in Kraigg Brathwaite, and seeking to regain some lost prestige after already surrendering the series and the Wisden Trophy, the fifth-wicket pair played with increasing fluency through an extended final session in putting on 124 runs to the close of play at the

It was England's first century of the series with Buttler getting to 67 and Stokes reaching 62 at the close.

Both made the most of lucky escapes.

Buttler's first scoring shot was an edge off to which a leaping Shimron Hetmyer at second slip could only get his fingertips.

Stokes was caught and bowled on 52 by Alzarri and was already in the England dressing room when he got the call to return to the middle as the lanky fast bowler had delivered a no-ball.

England's contended mood at the end of the day was in sharp contrast to the situation just three hours earlier as Joe Root's personal tale of batting woe on this disastrous campaign continued.

He fell to for the third consecutive innings just before the tea interval, wafting at an innocuous delivery from to give a simple catch to wicketkeeper

Root's painstaking innings of 15 off 54 deliveries leaves him with a tally of just 54 runs from five innings, typifying England's desperate struggles with the bat from their first innings of the series when they were routed at Kensington Oval for just 77 on the way to a 381-run mauling.

Gabriel, the fastest of the bowlers, was the other wicket-taker in the afternoon session, removing with an lbw decision that again highlighted the technical deficiencies of many of England's top-order batsmen.

Yet while he lacks the pace of Gabriel, Joseph and Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul was the star with the ball for the hosts on day one, making an immediate impact with a wicket with the first ball he bowled in the morning.

Drafted into the final eleven as replacement for Jason Holder, Paul ended Keaton Jennings' tortuous occupation of the crease when the opening batsman fell for the third time in three innings in the series to catches in the slip cordon.

Dropped earlier by Roston Chase at third slip off Roach, Jennings failed to make the most of the reprieve as the left-hander drove loosely at the seam all-rounder's opening delivery midway through the session to depart for eight off 43 balls via a Darren Bravo catch at first slip.

Paul then removed the other opener, Rory Burns, leg-before for 29 early into the afternoon session.

Jennings was dropped from the England eleven after failing in both innings of the first Test in Barbados, which allowed Denly to make his Test debut in

He is one of two changes to the tourists' eleven as left-handed all-rounder was omitted in preference for fast bowler West Indies' only change to the victorious team from the first two matches was forced by the International Council's decision to ban Holder for a slow over rate.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 10 2019. 04:45 IST