Joe Root is still unbeaten on a century for England and will look to consolidate England's lead on Day 4 © Getty Images
Joe Root is still unbeaten on a century for England and will look to consolidate England’s lead on Day 4 © Getty Images

Joe Root’s sixth Test hundred piloted England to a position of control at 373 for six in reply to the West Indies first innings total of 299 at stumps on the third day of the second Test on Thursday. Coming in the wake of half-centuries in the drawn first Test in Antigua, the 24-year-old Yorkshireman’s unbeaten 118 extended his excellent run of form and ensured the tourists made good use of the first sun-drenched day of the match. Joe Root scores century during England vs West Indies Day 3, 2nd Test at Grenada

They will go into the penultimate day ahead by 74 runs with Root and Jos Buttler seeking to build on that advantage in the quest for the victory on the last day that escaped them last week at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. “I’m feeling good, the movement’s good, so obviously you’ve got to cash in at times like this and score as many as you can while things are going so well,” said Root. West Indies vs England 2015: Devendra Bishoo eager to make an impact in 2nd Test

“We’ve got plenty of batting left in that dressing room and we’ll want to get a big lead and only bat once.”

Root’s commanding knock, his first Test century outside of England, came off 125 deliveries and was embellished by 13 fours and two sixes.  He dominated a 165-run fourth-wicket partnership with Gary Ballance and almost knocked the fight out of the West Indies after fast bowler Shannon Gabriel made two important strikes in the early afternoon to give his team hope. ENG tour of WI 2015: Broad defends sledging of Samuels

Ballance, the doughty left-hander, was prepared to stay in Root’s slipstream, cruising to 77 before falling to a careless shot within sight of his second hundred in successive Tests.  He dragged a wide delivery from part-time spinner Marlon Samuels onto the stumps and then watched from the pavilion as new batsman Moeen Ali ran himself out without scoring. West Indies vs England, 2nd Test at Grenada: Stuart Broad says he made technical changes to bowl faster

Ben Stokes didn’t last long, hoisting a Devendra Bishoo long-hop to Jermaine Blackwood on the midwicket boundary to take some of the gloss off England’s effort as they lost three wickets for 35 runs near the end of a day. Earlier, Alastair Cook’s quest for a first Test century in more than two years ended on 76 as he became the first of two wickets for Gabriel, playing on to the burly fast bowler 40 minutes after lunch. Alastair Cook becomes England’s second highest run-scorer in Tests during West Indies vs England, 2nd Test at Grenada

Ian Bell fell in similar manner five runs later, ushering in Root at 164 for three.  He wasted no time in setting about the bowling and the summoning of the second new ball by West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin after 85 overs only succeeded in accelerating the scoring.

In ideal batting conditions, England’s opening pair of Cook and Jonathan Trott appeared more concerned with eliminating risks than dominating the bowlers. They put on 125 for the first wicket, England’s first century opening stand since the Test against New Zealand in Dunedin in March, 2013, before the reintroduction of Bishoo brought the breakthrough just before lunch. Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel put on 52 for 10th wicket for West Indies vs England, Day 2 at Grenada

Keen to attack the leg-spinner, Trott, on 59, drove at a full-length delivery but only succeeded in getting an edge for Blackwood to take a good catch at second slip.  That strike hinted at further success for the Guyanese, but like the faster bowlers, he struggled for consistency in line and length, even delivering two of the 18 no-balls among the 30 extras conceded by an increasingly indisciplined unit. Marlon Samuels slams 7th Test century in West Indies vs England 2nd Test at Grenada

Brief scores:

West Indies 299 (Darren Bravo 35, Marlon Samuels 103; Stuart Broad 4 for 61) lead England 373/6 (Gary Ballance 77, Joe Root 118*; Shannon Gabriel 2 for 60) by 74 runs

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