England face hopeless task after Windies skipper Jason Holder’s double ton

West Indies captain Jason Holder celebrates his double century against England. Picture: Ricardo Mazalan/AP
West Indies captain Jason Holder celebrates his double century against England. Picture: Ricardo Mazalan/AP
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Jason Holder’s magnificent double hundred and a supporting century from Shane Dowrich left England 
humbled for the second day in a row and battling to avoid a big defeat in the first West Indies Test.

Just 24 hours after being skittled for 77 in Barbados, England toiled grimly away in a joyless, wicketless slog that lasted almost five hours and left a notional winning target of 628.

Windies skipper Holder was imperious for his 202 not out, hitting 23 fours and eight sixes as he relentlessly punished a listless visiting attack and proved himself an impostor in the lowly position of number eight.

Only two players in the history of the game have ever scored more from that station, Wasim Akram and Imtiaz Ahmed, while his 295 stand alongside the composed Dowrich (116no) was the third largest the game has seen for the seventh wicket.

The 6ft 7in all-rounder’s vibrant, beaming celebrations when he reached 200 by flogging part-time seamer Keaton Jennings into the leg-side immediately segued into a declaration, which left England 20 overs to bat before stumps at the Kensington Oval.

Jennings and Rory Burns safely negotiated that unenviable task to reach 56 for nought but with two full days ahead their efforts represented the tip of the iceberg.

In the short term, all focus will be trained batting for six full sessions, but beyond that there are questions over the make-up of the team going forward and the condition of James Anderson and Ben Stokes.

The pair have sent down almost 100 overs between them in Bridgetown and looked weary, overworked and under-rested as they trudged off in Holder and Dowrich’s slipstream.