|Second test, Emirates Old Trafford (day four of five)|
|England 469 – 9 Dec (Stokes 176, Sibley 120) & 37-2|
|Antilles 287 (Brathwaite 75, Brooks 68, Chase 51)|
|England leads by 219|
An explosive spell from Stuart Broad on the fourth night kept England’s hopes of winning the second test against the West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford.
Broad, who said he was “angry, frustrated and gutted” for being left out of the first test, took three wickets in 14 deliveries with the second new ball to inspire the home side after the West Indies appeared to fall. head to a safety position.
Kraigg Brathwaite did 75 and Shamarh Brooks 68, but when Brooks got trapped lbw by Broad he started a 242-4 slide to 260-8.
Roston Chase’s 51 dragged tourists past the follow-up mark, only for Chris Woakes to pull it off him and Shannon Gabriel alike to beat West Indies for 287, 182 behind.
The sight of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler preparing to open the stick for England 40 minutes from the end was exciting, evoking memories of the World Cup super final over a year ago.
However, in a chaotic eight overs, Buttler fell in love with a duck and Zak Crawley 10 to leave England 37-2, leading by 219.
They will continue the quest for quick races on Monday, making a statement before seeking to take the 10 wickets that would level the three-game streak 1-1.
British pitcher Jofra Archer, who was excluded from this test for violating biosecurity protocols, resumed training by playing skittles in the nets.
England set up a victory push
With the third day lost in the rain and the West Indies dulling England’s attack for most of the fourth, this game looked destined to meander until the draw that would see tourists keep the Wisden Trophy.
Indeed, for so long the most notable event on Sunday was that Dom Sibley absently violated the playing conditions of the coronavirus by applying saliva to the ball, forcing the referees to disinfect it.
Everything has been changed by the bursting burst of Broad and the contest is now ready for an intriguing conclusion on Monday.
Although West Indies have been strong with the bat in this series, England will feel they have a real chance to face them on ground which is starting to show an uneven rebound.
The English captain Joe Root will have to calculate his declaration carefully, not only to give enough time to his bowlers, but also to leave the Antilles a target which could encourage them to a chase.
The West Indies are likely to focus on survival, but they will know that the victory would secure a first series win in England since 1988.
Broad ignites hopes for England
After the West Indies resumed 32-1, England were frustrated with stickiness, lack of pace on the pitch and several missed half-chances.
Rhythm bowlers struggled to find movement and Dom Bess couldn’t find a consistent length, even though he had night watchman Alzarri Joseph in a short leg before Shai Hope was caught by sincere Sam Curran .
Stokes only played after lunch, and the sight of him hitting shortball after shortball during a relentless 11-pass spell made Archer’s lack of rhythm evident.
Stokes finally got his reward when Brathwaite tapped a return, which meant England had opened a volley just before the second new ball.
Broad took it and brought the game to life with full length, variable bounce, and throbbing consistency. Brooks and Shane Dowrich were both trapped on the fold to be lbw on either side of Jermaine Blackwood being upset by one who was staying low.
Woakes took over, pulling Jason Holder to the edge of the second slide, correctly using a critical to get Chase lbw and, five balls later, bowling Gabriel.
Windies’ challenge finally shattered
A week after a superb chase that won them the first Test at the Ageas Bowl, the West Indies were once again looking to repel the England attack.
By avoiding the follow-up, they at least removed England’s fastest option to win the game, and the Tourists will need more of a challenge on Monday to keep their lead intact.
Opener Brathwaite was characteristically determined, playing on soft drives and punching outdoors, while Brooks needed moments of fortune, especially when he was paralyzed by Stokes.
Chase, who took 5-172 in England’s opening innings, reversed giving lbw to Curran on the 14th.
When Holder fell, the West Indies still needed 10 to avoid the straight with two wickets in hand, only for Chase to take them to 270 with two ovens off Curran.
Tourists could have come under heavy pressure from Buttler and Stokes, but Kemar Roach held on. Buttler dragged on and Crawley was upset with a savage blow as England got carried away.
“Drawing is not what England is” – what they said
Former England captain Michael Vaughan on BBC Test Match Special: “England have given themselves a great chance.
“They did the right thing with the line-up – it showed good intention. They will want to get another 60 and have 85 overs to make sure they have a second new ball.
“It’s a series England expect to win. Drawing the series is not what it is about.
“The pitch is starting to play tricks. If the West Indies see the first new ball, then they have a chance, but it won’t be easy.
“Joe Root will have in mind the West Indies victory at Headingley in 2017. It will necessarily have a small effect. ”
Jonathan Agnew, BBC cricket correspondent: “The captain of England will have a few things to think about for tomorrow. The last day is great. ”
Carlos Brathwaite, versatile from the West Indies: “It would be unwise for the West Indies to enter tomorrow with the thought of victory in mind.
“They have to go out with a positive intention and go to tea. Don’t find yourself 80-6. England must force the game. “