Jonny Bairstow impresses with century, but failure for opener Keaton Jennings gives England selectors new headache

Jonny Bairstow impresses with century, but failure for opener Keaton Jennings gives England selectors new headache

England (379/10) vs West Indies President’s XI

Keaton Jennings failed for a second time on England’s tour of the West Indies as they scored 379 for 10 against a President’s XI. England have only one weakness of note, the unproven partnership of their opening pair. Yet it took only one weakness to halt Achilles.

Jennings was leg-before playing half-forward for seven to the left-arm pace of Raymon Reifer. It is not a form of attack which will feature in the West Indies bowling line-up in the first Test on Wednesday, but propping half-forward seems an integral part of Jennings’s method: given a bigger stride, the umpire might have reprieved him for getting his front pad outside the line.

It is not as if England have a plausible Plan B if another partner is required for Rory Burns, who did not convert his start into a first hundred for England, but otherwise batted satisfactorily for 68, before being stumped. Joe Denly’s first innings in the West Indies, like his two in the warm-ups in Sri Lanka, suggested he is too loose in shot-selection to be a Test opener.

Denly’s innings of 12 was the sketchiest of the day, not hit-and-miss, but miss-and-hit. He went for a big cover-drive to his first ball – when Miguel Cummins was putting in a decent spell – then cover-drove the second, which was a half-volley, for four. Denly aimed three more cover-drives off successive balls from Reifer, nailing the second, missing the first and third. He thought of hitting his first ball after tea through point and dragged on.

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