Memories of years gone by as England crumble in the Caribbean

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England were routed by Kemar Roach on day two in Barbados, blown away for 77 as the West Indies grabbed control of the first Test.

Nostalgia for the halcyon days of Caribbean cricket is equal parts inspiration and burden for the current generation but this was a classic chapter well worth its place in the pantheon.

England, famously skittled for 46 in Trinidad in 1994 and 51 in Jamaica a decade ago, added a third horror collapse to their record on these islands at one stage losing five wickets for as many runs.

England were skittled
England were skittled (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

Following in the footsteps of Curtly Ambrose and Jerome Taylor before him, Roach played the role of destroyer.

Roaring in from the Joel Garner End with considerably more ferocity than the speed gun gave him credit for he wiped out Rory Burns, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali in a glorious spell after lunch.

West Indies’ captain Jason Holder, centre, celebrates with team-mate Kemar Roach
West Indies’ captain Jason Holder, centre, celebrates with team-mate Kemar Roach (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

England had emerged for the afternoon on 30 for one, Keaton Jennings the man to go after spraying Jason Holder to gully.

Jennings’ continued struggles against seam are a lingering concern at the head of the innings but it would not be long before his team-mates were looking enviously at his 17 runs.

Burns had only two to his name when he pushed forward at his first ball of the afternoon session, allowing it to skim off the bat and into off stump.

Bairstow handed Roach his second success when the ball spat off a length, grazed his elbow and dislodged the bails. Holder chipped in from the other end to remove fellow captain Joe Root, following up 11 successive dots with a plumb lbw.

Roach soon reclaimed the spotlight, revving up to see off Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali for ducks from consecutive balls. Stokes was lbw on the back foot, unsuccessfully reviewing a marginal decision, but Moeen’s shot – a curious flap top-edged to fine leg – spoke of a scrambled mind.

Roach’s fifth was possibly the best of the lot, Jos Buttler forced on the back foot by a brutish steepler and feathering to the wicketkeeper.

Holder celebrates the dismissal of Joe Root
Holder celebrates the dismissal of Joe Root (Ricardo Mazalan/AP)

The day had started with England wrapping up the first innings with two wickets for 25, James Anderson matching Sir Ian Botham’s national record of 27 five-wicket hauls.

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