2nd Test, Day 4: England Lead by 219 Runs After Roach Double-Strike in Final Session
Kemar Roach (© AFP)

West Indies collapsed as they lost their final six wickets for the addition of just 45 runs to hand England a first innings lead of 182 runs which they had extended to 219 when at stumps of the fourth day’s play of the second Test in Manchester.

At the end of the day’s play England were 37/2 with Ben Stokes (16*) and captain Joe Root (8*) in the middle.

Fifties from Kraigg Brathwaite (75) and Shamarh Brooks (68) had ensured West Indies continue to make England bowlers toil for wickets as they steadily continued building their innings. At tea they were well-placed at 227/4 but once the second new ball was taken, veteran Stuart Broad (3/66) wreaked havoc with three wickets in quick succession.

After trapping Brooks, Broad cleaned up first Test hero Jermaine Blackwood for a duck and then sent back Shane Dowrich who also didn’t disturb the scoreboard. Roston Chase (51) scored a breezy fifty before falling to Chris Woakes (3/42) who also accounted for Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel as West Indies folded for 287.

Searching for quick runs, England sent out Jos Buttler alongside Ben Stokes to open the innings. The ploy didn’t work with Buttler (0) departing in the very first over, bowled by Kemar Roach who then dismissed Crawley for 11.

Earlier, Brooks and Brathwaite were involved in a attractive fourth-wicket partnership of 76 with opener to keep English bowlers at bay. Brathwaite’s hopes of following his 134 in a five-wicket win against England at Headingley three years ago with another hundred ended on 75 when, trying to turn Stokes legside, he was caught and bowled off a leading edge.

It was a desperately needed wicket for England with all-rounder Stokes, whose superb 176 was the cornerstone of their first innings 469/9 declared, not brought on to bowl by captain Joe Root until the 51st over of West Indies’ reply.

Play resumed Sunday in bright sunshine unlike Saturday with Wisden Trophy holders West Indies, looking for their first series win in England since 1988.

Nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph, who might have been lbw to Sam Curran had England reviewed on Friday, should have been out for 16 on Sunday when he edged Chris Woakes. But third slip Stokes dropped the catch after Zak Crawley, moving across from second slip, obscured his view.

Offspinner Dom Bess, however, succeeded where England’s quicks had failed when, with just his second ball Sunday, he had Joseph well caught by Ollie Pope at short leg for 32.

Shai Hope, whose lone two Test hundreds came at Headingley in 2017, helped Brathwaite add 53 before, on 25, he was caught behind jabbing at a Curran cutter.

West Indies’ 123/3 might have become 123-4 but Brathwaite, on 46, was spared by umpire’s call when England reviewed a Stuart Broad lbw appeal.

Brathwaite then completed a 121-ball fifty when he drove Broad, controversially rested at Southampton, down the ground for four.

Brooks elegantly eased Broad off his pads and drove Bess for two of nine boundaries in a fifty that came from just 96 balls. Stokes’ first delivery took Brathwaite’s edge but the ball flew past Crawley at second slip.

Root set increasingly funky fields for Stokes and the paceman’s perseverance was rewarded when his 10th successive over of pounding the ball in short saw him dismiss Brathwaite. England came into this match, the second in a series that marks world cricket’s return from the coronavirus lockdown with a revamped pace attack.

Having already rested James Anderson and Mark Wood, they had to omit Jofra Archer after the fast bowler admitted making an unauthorised trip home after the first Test that breached this series’ bio-secure health regulations. However, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced Saturday that, following a disciplinary hearing, Archer would be available for the third Test at Old Trafford starting on July 24.

With AFP Inputs