Holder and Dowrich take Windies 561 runs clear of sorry England

Bridgetown (Barbados) (AFP) –


Jason Holder reached his highest Test score and Shane Dowrich was on the verge of his own third Test hundred as the West Indies seventh-wicket pair continued to pile on the misery for England in the first Test on Friday.

The pair batted through the afternoon session, extending their second innings to 349 for six at tea on the third day at Kensington Oval.

Having resumed from the overnight position of 127 for six, and with a first innings lead of 212 runs after demolishing the tourists on the second afternoon for just 77, the pair, who came together just before the end of play on day two, are yet to be separated in a stand now worth 229 runs and which has extended the home side's overall advantage to a mammoth 561 runs.

Holder, the West Indies captain, continued to dominate the scoring in reaching 151 -- his second hundred in Tests against England -- at the break with wicketkeeper-batsman Dowrich content to trail in the all-rounder's wake in getting to 97.

After putting on 110 in the morning period, they added another 112 in the two hours after lunch, capitalising on weary, dispirited opponents who could not summon the energy to make a difference with the second new ball even though Holder gave them two difficult chances after bringing up his hundred with a straight hit for six off leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

Rory Burns could not hold on to a running, diving effort at deep cover when the tall right-hander miscued a heave at part-time bowler Keaton Jennings.

Then just before the interval wicketkeeper Ben Foakes could only get a glove to a leg-side deflection off Ben Stokes before it raced to the fine-leg boundary.

With their confidence severely dented after being routed the previous day for the lowest innings total in 89 years of Test cricket at the Kensington Oval, and their fourth-lowest against the West Indies, England relied at the start of play and again when the second new ball was taken in the afternoon on James Anderson and Stokes to provide a breakthrough.

But Holder and Dowrich were in no mood to exercise mercy with the pair keeping the scoreboard ticking over without taking any risks, at least until the captain was first to three figures.

Holder was particularly impressive in unfurling a succession of fluent off-drives -? along the ground and over the top -? with the introduction of spinners Moeen Ali and Rashid.