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England in control as West Indies lose early wickets

Left-arm spinner Jack Leach and pace bowler Ben Stokes were the key wicket-takers
Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
File Photo

Reuters   |   Bridgetown   |   Published 19.03.22, 01:11 AM

England picked up two morning wickets on Day III of the second Test against the West Indies on Friday in a session highlighted by several extremely close leg before calls in Barbados, as the hosts reached 114 for three at lunch in their first innings.

West Indies played with caution, adding only 43 runs to their overnight score, losing Shamarh Brooks (39) and Nkrumah Bonner (9) in the process. They are still 393 runs behind England.

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Left-arm spinner Jack Leach and pace bowler Ben Stokes were England’s wicket-takers.

Leach had Brooks caught at backward point by a mis-hit cut, while Stokes trapped the dangerous Bonner lbw, the on-field decision standing when a review showed that the ball would have clipped the top of middle stump.

Stokes should have sent Jermaine Blackwood on his way for a duck shortly afterwards, but England were left to rue what might have been when captain Joe Root decided not to review an lbw decision that had been given not out on-field.

Ball-tracking showed the ball would have hit middle of leg stump.

Blackwood later survived another close lbw decision and was no doubt happy to see lunch roll around, batting on seven, while captain Brathwaite was on 44.

It was a real captain’s innings by Brathwaite, who took few unnecessary risks and scored only 16 runs in the morning session, painfully slow progress but exactly what was required under the circumstances.

On Thursday, England exerted an iron grip on the game, declaring at 507 for nine shortly after tea.

Captain Root was his usual stylish self in top-scoring, his 153 from 316 balls his 12th highest Test score, before falling lbw to Kemar Roach.

Ben Stokes brought up his 11th Test century shortly after lunch, off 114 balls, his third quickest ton after taking 85 deliveries against New Zealand in 2015 and 105 against South Africa in 2016.

He bludgeoned his 120 off 128 balls, including six sixes and 11 fours, before holing out at long-off.

The all-rounder had carefully seen off the new ball before cutting loose and switching into his best Twenty20-style to smash spinner Veerasammy Permaul and pace bowler Alzarri Joseph out of the attack.

Brief scores: England 507/9 decl. WI 114/3. At lunch, Day III



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