A fine performance in the final four sessions of the second Test match from England helped them level the ongoing Test series against the West Indies, at Old Trafford, Manchester after winning by 113 runs. Stuart Broad provided the ideal start to the day to the home side after Ben Stokes’ blistering knock of 78 propelled England to 129-3, giving a target of 312 runs to the visitors.
Quick runs were needed in the first hour and as expected Ben Stokes made his intentions clear in the first over of the day. The left-hander raced to his fifty off just 36 balls – the fastest ever by an England Test opener.
England needed regular strikes and they got off to a great start when Stuart Broad invited a drive from John Campbell. The left-hander had struck a four on the same length ball earlier and once again went for the drive. However, Jos Buttler didn’t even appeal but there was a faint edge on the Ultra Edge when Root decided to go upstairs.
Subsequently, Woakes plumbed Kraigg Brathwaite in front of the wickets and Hope dismal form with the bat continued when Broad got the ball to nip back into the right-hander to beat his defense. Broad then trapped Roston Chase on the pads when the right-hander was only on six runs.
West Indies were in all kinds of trouble as they had lost four wickets for 37 runs. However, Shamarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood showed the much-needed resistance. Brooks had the rub of the green on his side as Root decided not to review when the ball had brushed the bat’s handle when the right-hander was on 17 runs.
Brooks made the most of his second life whereas Blackwood started out aggressively, playing his shots against the balls which were in the arc. Blackwood had got West Indies out of trouble in Southampton and he was once doing a fine job.
Both the right-handers soon brought their fifties and then the 100 run partnership was also raised, which kept West Indies hopes alive for the draw. However, Ben Stokes turned those hopes into despair when he removed Jermaine Blackwood with a well-directed bumper just at the stroke of Tea.
Soon after the Tea break, Woakes plumbed Dowrich – who bagged a pair – in front of the wickets. Subsequently, Brooks and Holder started building a good alliance but Sam Curran was able to trap the former in front of the wickets when he offered no shot.
Holder smashed Dom Bess for a long-on six but he was bowled a couple of balls later when the off-spinner found the gulf between bat and pad to hit the stumps. Stokes then removed Alzarri Joseph who flashed hard at one and was caught at point.
Ollie Pope took a brilliant reflex catch on the second go to dismiss Kemar Roach and help England keep their chances afloat of regaining the Wisden Trophy.
Brief scores: England 469/9 declare. (Ben Stokes 176, Dom Sibley 120; Roston Chase 5-172) & 129/3 declare. (Ben Stokes 78*; Kemar Roach 2-37) beat West Indies 287 (Kraigg Brathwaite 75, Shamarh Brooks 68; Chris Woakes 3-42, Stuart Broad 3-66) & 198 (Shamarh Brooks 62, Jermaine Blackwood 55; Stuart Broad 3-42, Ben Stokes 2-30) by 113 runs.