Opener Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes struck half centuries as England recovered from an early setback to reach 207 for three wickets in their first innings on the opening day of the second Test against the West Indies which commenced at Old Trafford yesterday.
Captain Joe Root fell cheaply on his return to international cricket but Sibley and Stokes steered England safely with a fourth-wicket partnership of 126 runs.
Roston Chase did the early damage for the West Indies with two wickets in two balls separated by the lunch break to leave England at 29 for two at one stage.
Root then made 23 before he was caught in the slips off Alzarri Joseph, with England 112 for three at tea.
However, Stokes joined Sibley and the pair soon took control of the situation while posting their 50-run partnership in 156 deliveries.
Sibley went on to complete his half century from 164 deliveries with the aid of two boundaries while Stokes reached his fifty from 119 deliveries with one six and three boundaries.
Earlier, West Indies’ fast bowlers were off target after Captain Jason Holder won the toss under grey skies in Manchester.
But on the stroke of lunch, off-spinner Chase struck with just his second ball to have Rory Burns lbw for 15 with the left-handed opener compounding his dismissal with a wasted review.
And the first ball after the break saw England’s 29 for one become 29 for two.
Zak Crawley, preferred ahead of the dropped Joe Denly, fell for a golden duck when he tamely turned Chase straight to Holder at leg-slip.
Root, who missed England’s four-wicket loss in last week’s first Test at Southampton to attend the birth of his second child, survived the hat-trick.
Together with Sibley he shared a stand of 52, with West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel - the Man-of-the-Match at Southampton - leaving the field injured.
But Joseph, using the width of the crease, lured Root into chasing a ball outside off stump, with second slip Holder catching a thick edge.
Sibley also had a let-off shortly before tea when, on 44, he saw Shamarh Brooks fail to hold a tough chance at short-leg off Chase. (Agencies)