Jermaine Balckwood    Getty Images
Jermaine Balckwood Getty Images

West Indies danced on the centuries of Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope on Day Three as they piled up 427, leading by 169 against England. Although James Anderson had an early laugh, West Indies snatched the glory as Jason Holder and Jermaine Blackwood stitched 75-run stand who were assisted by some bright sunshine. They counterattacked gamely while Kemar Roach and Shanon Gabriel merrily pushed the session to overtime. Anderson who is 3 shy from 500 Test wickets was the pick of the bowlers while Ben Stokes ended with 2 wickets to prevent West Indies from getting a big score.

West Indies’ good run was dented at the start of the session when Anderson picked consecutive wickets of Hope and Shane Dowrich. Hope nibbled an outside edge to Jonny Bairstow for 147 while Shane Dowrich was caught at second slip by skipper Joe Root, handing third five-wicket haul to Anderson in this Test series. Anderson also ended with 15 wickets at 6.66 from the last two Tests. Meanwhile, Hope s 147 was the highest score by a West Indies player in England since Brian Lara’s 179 & 152 in the 1995 tour. Blackwood, who started off Day Three on overnight score of 21, stuttered with short balls.

He would have found his way back to the pavilion as well, had Moeen Ali caught him at mid-on. West Indies were 333 for 7 then. Although Blackwood took the call of boundaries initially, Holder joined the party and forced Root to let go off the fourth slip. Blackwood and skipper Holder resurrected the innings with a 50-run stand for eighth wicket off 54 deliveries. They took West Indies to 380 with a lead of 121.

West Indies were leading by 135 by the drinks break which was the highest first innings lead conceded by West Indies. The last time West Indies gained first innings lead was in 2004 at Old Trafford, England. In no time, Holder and Blackwood s partnership took West Indies to 400-plus mark, which West Indies last secured in September 2014.

Ali, who was introduced after drinks, committed no error this time and caught Holder for 43. Since, it was Roach and Gabriel who switched on their flight mode. However, Stokes trapped Gabriel on leg-stump for 10 while Roach remained unbeaten on 6.

Brief scores:

England 258 all-out (Ben Stokes 100, Joe Root 59; Shannon Gabriel 4 for 41) trail West Indies 427 all-out (Kraigg Brathwaite 134, Shai Hope 147, Jermaine Blackwood 49; James Anderson 5 for 76) by 169 runs.