Stuart Broad moved on to 499 Test wickets either side of England’s top three firing with the bat as Joe Root’s side kicked on in their bid to beat West Indies and the weather and regain the Wisden Trophy.
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Broad nicked off John Campbell (0) and nightwatchman Kemar Roach (4) on Sunday evening to move one scalp shy of becoming the second Englishman after James Anderson to 500 in Tests as Windies closed on 10-2, after Joe Root had declared on 226-2 with his side leading by 398, mindful that the forecast for day four in Manchester is grim.
Broad (6-31) had bagged 4-14 during the opening session on day three at Emirates Old Trafford, having only been called into the attack once Windies had avoided the follow-on, with his 18th five-wicket haul seeing the tourists slip to 197 all out and earning England a first-innings lead of 172.
Rory Burns (90) and Dom Sibley (56) then shared the team’s first century opening partnership at home since Sir Alastair Cook and Alex Hales against Pakistan in 2016, while Root’s sprightly 68no from 56 balls came amid a brisk 112-run stand with Burns, whose dismissal slog-sweeping Roston Chase triggered the declaration with 30 minutes remaining.
England now have two days at best and one at worst – Tuesday’s outlook is much brighter – to take the eight wickets they need to seal a come-from-behind series win, with Broad one away from a magical landmark in a Test that he has been sensational in so far.
Being able to enforce the follow-on would have boosted England’s victory hopes but that option was removed as Jason Holder (46) and Shane Dowrich (37) lifted West Indies from their overnight 137-6 and past the score of 170 that ended any chance of the visitors being reinserted by Root.
England would have had Holder out to a superb leaping catch from Ollie Pope at midwicket had Chris Woakes – who shared bowling duty with Jofra Archer over the first 40 minutes – not bowled just the second no-ball of his Test career when Windies were on 166-6.
Holder compounded Woakes’ woe by pulling away the boundary that ensured Windies avoided the follow-on – but he was then pinned lbw by a Broad nip-backer shortly before the drinks break, as his seventh-wicket partnership with fellow Bajan Dowrich ended on 68.
Broad then accounted for Rahkeem Cornwall (10) and Roach (0) in the same over and wrapped up the innings when Dowrich hacked to mid-on as he claimed six wickets or more in a Test innings for the 12th time and made England’s decision to overlook him for first Test, which they lost by four wickets, look increasingly folly.
Sibley and Burns came through 20 minutes before lunch, during which Sibley moved off a potential pair, and all the way though until 40 minutes after as they accumulated runs steadily, with the only casualties being West Indian.
Holder temporarily left the field and then returned with a bandaged left thumb after being hit by a ball in the slip cordon, while Dowrich saw his day ended by a blow to the face as he tried to collect a ferocious delivery from Shannon Gabriel – substitute Joshua Da Silva keeping wicket in his stead after Shai Hope had briefly filled in.
Da Silva came close to stumping Burns on 12 after spinner Roston Chase had lured the left-hander out of his crease but the replacement wicketkeeper had to move wide to his left to collect the ball and could not quite dislodge the bails as he lunged back to his right.
Burns, as he has done throughout the series, looked nervy at times against Chase but became more confident as his innings progressed as he notched his second half-century of the match and eighth overall from 111 deliveries, shortly after Sibley had completed his second from 121.
Holder broke the partnership on 114 when he dismissed Sibley lbw but the opener’s dismissal led to Burns and Root increasing the run rate, while Holder was soon off the field again for a short period after appearing to tweak his ankle for the second time on tour.
Stand-in captain Brathwaite made an error while Holder was out of commission – failing to go for an lbw review that would have seen Burns out to off-spinner Cornwall for 75 – while England skipper Root passed fifty for the 49th time in Test cricket from 49 balls when he belted Roach back down the ground.
Watch day four of the series-deciding third #raisethebat Test between England and West Indies live from 10.30am on Monday on Sky Sports Cricket.
Source : Sky Sports