A spectacular Ross Taylor catch sparked an England collapse on day two at the Bay Oval after Ben Stokes threatened to take the game away from the hosts.
The talk after day one at the Bay Oval was about how England had embraced a more patient, pragmatic approach to batting in the Test arena.
Before the series new coach Chris Silverwood called for England to bat time. “One thing we’ll look at is building a batting group that can bat long periods of time, stack the runs up and put pressure on the opposition,” he said. “It sounds old‑fashioned but we’ve got to recognise that.”
He got exactly what he wanted on day one as England displayed a sense of caution too often lacking in recent years. At 241-4, they would have been happy with their day’s work. They started in similar fashion on day two as Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope put on 36 runs in the first 10 overs of the morning without, barring an overturned lbw decision against Pope, much alarm.
An excellent grab from Ross Taylor at slip.pic.twitter.com/IAXI70tM52
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 21, 2019
That all changed in the 11th over of the morning as Stokes looked to drive the impressive Tim Southee off a ball that wasn’t really there to attack, only to edge the ball towards the slip cordon. Ross Taylor, who dropped Stokes on 63 in the evening session the previous day, flung himself to his right to take a sensational one-handed catch.
His catch changed the course of the morning session as it sparked the kind of collapse England fans have grown accustomed to seeing from their team in recent years. 277-4 quickly became 295-8 as Pope, Sam Curran and Jofra Archer soon followed. Pope was the most guilty of his own downfall, driving wildly to Southee 15 balls after his senior partner departed. Jos Buttler and his old friend Jack Leach restored respectability to England’s session with an unbroken 34 run stand to take England into the interval on 329-8 but England will still rue the manner in which they relinquished such a strong position.