tea – England 371 (Crowley 76, Smith 70, Root 68, Pope 57, Brooke 50, Sales 4-77) lead West Indies 121 (Atkinson 7-45) from 250 runs

Jamie Smith hits Jaden Sales outside Lord’s and at St John’s Wood Road after scoring 70 in his first Test innings against the West Indies. Smith was one of five batsmen to score half-centuries as England took a crucial first innings lead of 250 at the tea break on the second day of the first Test of the home summer.

Smith, a 23-year-old wicket-keeper batsman, came in at No. 7 with England’s first 131 and shared 33 and 52 runs with Joe Root and Chris Woakes respectively. But with Woakes and Gus Atkinson falling quickly on the second new ball, Smith found a new gear and hit the target even with the field spread.

After an unusually slow start to his innings, Smith began to go down the pitch and smashed Shamar Joseph into the grandstand for six, three overs after reaching his 98-ball half-century. After three overs, he gave himself room and drove a short ball from Sales over the Tavern stand and out of Lord’s.

Shoaib Bashir’s direct-hit run-out at the dead-eye, non-striker’s end from Michael Lewis meant the retiring James Anderson was hailed to the middle for what could turn out to be his last innings in Test cricket. But facing no ball, Smith delivered the last ball of Sales’ over to Kirk McKenzie at deep backward square leg.

Joseph spent part of the afternoon session sidelined with a left hand injury, and was seen receiving treatment in the away dressing room. He was forced off the field in the middle of his 15th over, and looked distressed after another over with the second new ball.

England traveled on the second morning, although Gadkesh Moti returned before lunch, vindicating his selection by dismissing Ben Stokes and Root. The West Indies bowlers were kept under constant pressure as England piled on 102 runs in the first session of 28 overs, but Moti’s two wickets kept them in the game.

After Harry Brook fell to just 50, Root reached his 93rd 50-plus score in Test cricket and in the process moved into the format’s top ten highest run-scorers. But he fell for 68 shortly before the lunch break, becoming England’s second batsman when Stokes bowled an unusual delivery from the West Indies left-arm spinner.

Stokes’ first international innings of the season lasted just 11 balls with Moti hitting his middle stump out of the ground. Bowling his first over of the morning session, Moti tossed the ball up and got a sharp turn after landing on the footmark. It stretches back behind Stokes’ bat, leaving him open-mouthed before heading back to the pavilion.

And in the final over before the break, Root was left grinning in disbelief after losing his off-stump to the same bowler. Moti went wide to the crease and bowled his arm ball straight down the seam. Root looked to punch into the offside but the delivery was quick then went further off the pitch, beating the bat and hitting the stumps.

He showed why Mooti was selected for this Test, losing his place to Kevin Sinclair for the West Indies’ win over Australia at the Gabba in January: Sinclair, the off-spinner, is a superior batsman but Moti’s bowler. Some are ahead. He took 2 for 22 in his seven unchanged overs on the second morning, and should have been brought into the attack early.

With a lead of 66 and only three wickets falling in their first innings, England made steady progress during the first hour. Brooke dominated the scoring in a 91-run partnership with Root, scoring heavily on the wicket as if to demonstrate the slow nature of the Lord’s pitch.

He brought up his half-century – his 12th fifty-plus score in 13 Tests – with a backfoot punch for two, but did not add another run. He fell for good measure as Joshua da Silva was hooked by a wide Joseph bouncer: it was a reminder of Brooke’s mixed record against the short ball, exposed by Australia during last summer’s Ashes.

But Root progressed comfortably, picking up his pace through the session after a relatively slow start to his innings. Like Brook, he scored most of his runs on the square of the wicket, the highlight of which was a left-right punch to Joseph: he rolled his wrists on a pull-off on a short ball, then followed up with a swinger to his own. Whip to bring up off the pad. Consecutive limits

Smith overcame Mott’s drag-down to score his first Test runs, worth 33, during a brief partnership with Root. root termination.

West Indies struck twice with the second new ball: Woakes drove Sales straight to Lewis at deep backward square leg, and Atkinson got behind Jason Holder. But it changed Smith’s tempo, showing skill and aggression that led to his selection for the series ahead of Surrey teammate Ben Foakes.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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