Mayers' double strike puts Windies on front foot in Test series decider
Kyle Mayers immediately justified his selection with the wickets of Zak Crawley and Joe Root as England stumbled to 46 for three at lunch after being put in to bat on the opening day of the third and final Test against the West Indies at the Grenada National Stadium in Thursday.
Included in the home side's final 11 for the first time in the series on a pitch offering assistance to seam bowlers, Mayers struck in his second over when Crawley drove loosely at a full-length delivery to be taken at short extra-cover by Kraigg Brathwaite after an opening stand of 23.
West Indies captain Brathwaite was an even happier man two overs later when his England counterpart, Root, was drawn tentatively forward by Mayers' wobbly medium-pace and offered a straightforward catch to wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva before he had scored.
Mayers, who replaced left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul from the team which featured in the two drawn Tests in Antigua and Barbuda, bowled five consecutive maiden overs in the session.
His clever variations and movement through the air and off the seam have presented a very different challenge from the greater pace of the frontline bowlers.
He was brought into the attack after half-hour's play as the opening burst from Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales failed to provide the anticipated breakthrough.
But after Crawley's opening partner Alex Lees and new batsman Dan Lawrence attempted to steady the innings, Seales was brought back for a second spell and struck immediately by trapping Lawrence lbw for just eight to reduce England to 46 for three.
In his debut series, and still without a significant individual score, Lees will resume in the afternoon session on 26 in partnership with Ben Stokes.
Like West Indies, England also made one change to their team from the second Test.
Craig Overton replaced Matt Fisher in a swap of seam bowlers. Fisher made his Test debut at Kensington Oval only because Overton fell ill on the night before the match got underway.
With the series yet to produce an outright result, a repetition of England's victory at the venue in 2015 will give them a Test campaign win in the Caribbean for the first time since 2004.