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Jonny Bairstow Ton saves England from top-order collapse and starts West Indies series at Antigua

JONNY Bairstow carried on where he left off in Australia, to spare England's Antigua blushes.

Bairstow won England's single Ashes ton in Sydney. Joe Root lost only one match.


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After swinging the game with a century, Jonny Bairstow of England celebrates
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Jonny Bairstow displayed poise and patience to save England on day one

After another top-order collapse, brilliant Bairstow smiled brightly as he took Kraigg Brathwaite to his fence. This was the eighth Test century of a remarkable player and made sure that the "red ball reset", which was not just a painful one, was a great success.

Bairstow hit 17 fours over a five-hour stay. He combined durability and determination to win the bad ball. Rightly celebrating, he leapt and roared with delight as he reached three figures, before closing with an unbeaten 109.

The recalled Ben Foakes, who was also able to get his head down with a solid 42, was pinned in front of Jason Holder. This pair saved England from a dangerous 115 for five and finished the day on 268 six.

Bairstow was right to be happy about his century against the West Indies, particularly considering that his nine previous Tests against them had only 197 runs with an average of just 15.

With Sir Viv Richards watching, Bairstow displayed more solid attributes. He was initially conservative, but he blossomed with power, timing, and confidence.

It turned what could have been demoralizing disarray into one in which England will be looking to end a run that saw 12 innings without passing 300.

This was also much needed after England's lunch went down like a week-old slice of pizza.

Root won the toss, and England elected to bat. England had six changes from Hobart's side. England quickly got back to their old ways.

Poor judgement, poor shots and a lack patience brought back the enduring despair of the Barmy Army's frontline troops.

Although there was some movement in the surface, it was not enough to cause any significant deviations for the new ball. However, the top-order technique was again found to be inadequate.

Root has been the beacon of hope many times. Root was only part of the distress signal this time.

Alex Lees was only able to last nine balls in his debut. He was then trapped for just half of the ball for four, after being cleverly set up for Kemar Roach's inswinger.

The next was Zak Crawley who had scored two off Jayden Seales’ opening over. He wafted at a wide ball but Joshua Da Silva cleverly reacted to capture the inside edge.

Root was also absent, and his bail was trimmed by an in ducker who he misleadly left. This was Roach's third chance after a miss and then a slip drop. England was staring into the abyss again.


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After he beat Dan Lawrence of England at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Jason Holder celebrates with Kraigg Bradwaite
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After being bowled 36 by Jayden Sessions, Ben Stokes displays his frustration

50 balls, 43 minutes. 27 for three

Soon, it got worse. Dan Lawrence was there for an hour, before he started to poke at Holder. He then went straight to JermaineBlackwood for 20.

Bairstow was then invited to join Ben Stokes who, cautiously but also more aggressively, added 67 on either side of lunch.

England was back in trouble when Stokes died for 36, just as Seales got a big edge off of him.

It looked very poor on a pitch that was flattened and slowed down. Foakes drove two straight drives past Roach to show this.


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No5 Ben Stokes started the first-day, mid-innings fight back in the First Test

In the final session, the pair began to work through the gears. Bairstow brought up his 50-pound square-cutting left-armer Veerasammy Parmaul to the fence to mark his eighth boundary.

Foakes was back in the side for first time in 12 month, showing similar intent. He grabbed on to any shortfall and whipped through the mid-wicket.

Bairstow was successfully reviewed after he was adjudged behind Permaul. He was nowhere near it, but Foakes was not so lucky when Holder caught him on the kneeroll one run short a century.

Chris Woakes was the one who brought Bairstow to its landmark in an unbroken 50 partnership. England shaded it on the first day.