Gabriel send off all in the game for Stokes

2017-08-25 23:44
Ben Stokes (Gallo Images)

Leeds - England century-maker Ben Stokes insisted he had no problems being on the receiving end of some choice words from Shannon Gabriel after the West Indies fast bowler dismissed him on Friday's first day of the second Test.

Having been labelled "embarrassing" and "pathetic" by Caribbean fast-bowling great Curtly Ambrose in slumping to an innings defeat inside three days in the series opener - the first day/night Test in Britain - at Edgbaston last week, the West Indies fought back well to dismiss England for 258 on Friday.

Gabriel and new-ball partner Kemar Roach shared eight wickets between them at Headingley, yet their side might have had an even better day but for several dropped catches.

Stokes was missed in the slips on nine and again by Gabriel on 98 when the recalled paceman floored a simple catch at mid-on.

Joe Root was also reprieved, the England captain dropped in the slips on eight before making 59 on his Yorkshire home ground.

The combined cost of those errors amounted to 142 runs, with Gabriel venting his frustration after he finally had all-rounder Stokes caught behind for exactly 100.

"It's not the first time," joked Stokes, known to indulge in more than the odd bout of 'sledging' himself.

But while Stokes was furious at being 'saluted' off the field by West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels - not playing in this match - following his dismissal during a Test in Grenada two years ago, he was far more accepting of Gabriel's outburst.

"He was still probably a little bit annoyed at himself for dropping me on 98, but it comes with the game," said Stokes.

"He got me out. It's international sport, you're all trying to do well and emotions can come out. No worries whatsoever."

Stokes had some vivid language of his own to describe the poor shot off Roach that almost led to his exit in sight of a sixth Test hundred.

"It was a brain fart. I don't know what happened," he said.

"I'm not quite sure what I was thinking, trying to hit (Roach) back over his head."

Stokes was rather more serious when assessing Root's quality after his skipper equalled South Africa star AB de Villiers' all-time record of fifties in 12 successive Test matches.

"He is one hell of a player and has been for a long time now," said Stokes of Root.

"The captaincy hasn't affected his run-scoring whatsoever, in fact it's probably made him into a better player if that was possible."

Meanwhile, Roach backed the West Indies batsmen to follow the lead of their attack when they resume on Saturday on 19/1.

"The guys were totally honest with themselves that we weren't good enough in the first Test," said Roach of a match where England piled up 514 for eight declared and then skittled the West Indies out for 168 and 137.

"We have a point to prove. The batsmen have been working hard in the nets and no doubt I'm looking for some big things from them."

Read more on:    england  |  west indies  |  ben stokes  |  cricket


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