“Now it’s left to me to knuckle down and get a hundred” says West Indies captain Jason Holder
Holder shrugged off concerns over an ankle injury to take a career-best haul of 6-42 as the hosts were rolled over for 204 at the Ageas Bowl.
The 6ft 7in paceman settled into a groove that England’s batsmen could not answer on day two – including his opposite number Ben Stokes for 43 – but wants to live up to his status as the world’s o 1 all-rounder by doing similar damage with the bat.
“It’s a proud moment getting six wickets in England, anything to help this team, but my role is to contribute with bat and ball,” he said, with the visitors set to resume 147 behind on 57-1.
“I think I’ve soaked it in already. I really want to make some runs now. I have done a good job so far in the first innings but my Test is far from over.
“I have a massive contribution to make with the bat. I’ve ticked one box so far, now it’s left to me to knuckle down and get a hundred.”
Shannon Gabriel turned in a highly impressive effort of his own, accounting for each of the top three and returning to end a frustrating final-wicket stand of 30, but Holder’s dismissal of Stokes was probably the decisive contribution.
He had been dropped twice and his partnership of 67 with Jos Buttler was just threatening to rebalance the scales. Stokes had been using his feet to try and disrupt the bowlers’ plans, but Holder stuck at it and had him caught behind advancing down the track. Buttler, who had looked good for 35, followed close behind.
England paceman Mark Wood, who approached 95mph in a rapid but wicketless spell in the evening, accepted that the tourists were in a strong position.
He has not given up hope of turning the tide though.
“They are on top. They’ve done really well today and showed us the way to go,” he said.
“We lost a few wickets quickly, so there’s plenty to put right in the morning. We would have liked 250-300, so we’re a little bit short.”
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