England vs West Indies: Match-3
By Megha Mallick
England and West Indies lock horns in the deciding Test at the Old Trafford. West Indies won the first test by four wickets, and England the second by 113 runs. Would the Windies retain the Wisden Trophy, or will have to hand it over to the Englishmen?
West Indies won the toss for the second time in a row and elected to bowl first. They made one change to the team; off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall replaced Alzarri Joseph. For England, James Anderson and Jofra Archer came back to the squad, replacing Zak Crawley and Sam Curran.
Very soon, Kemar Roach had got Dominic Sibley out for a duck. The umpire didn’t think before raising his finger; the latter had a quick chat with Rory Burns and went off. A while later, West Indies had lost their first review, challenging a decision against England captain Joe Root.
The first boundary of the day came as four byes from Shannon Gabriel. Root was run out for 17, and England lost their second wicket. Burns brought up fifty runs for England hitting a four. At lunch, they were at 66/2.
After lunch, Burns gave a positive start, with a boundary off the first ball. Roach bowled off Ben Stokes, MoM of the previous game, for 20. Burns got to his half century with a tap to fine leg. Cornwall caught him off Roston Chase for 57. It was the fourth time the latter got Burns out in the on-going series. At tea, England were 131/4.
Ollie Pope reached to his half century hitting a four. Jos Buttler slowly found his touch and smashed Cornwall for two sixes in the same over- one over deep midwicket and the other over long on- staying measured and restrained in a 120-ball knock.
West Indies lost their second review as well, challenging one against Pope. Buttler also got to his half century, a much needed one for him and the team. Bad light forced early stumps on Day 1 and England are at 258/4. Pope is on 91 and Buttler on 56. Both of them were under pressure to deliver in the third test after not-so-good performances so far in this series.
West Indies would look to break this partnership as soon as possible to create a chance for themselves in the decider.
Kemar Roach started off with a maiden on the second day, after Shannon Gabriel was done with the remaining two balls of his unfinished over. The latter almost got Jos Buttler, but he overstepped. Rahkeem Cornwall also dropped one in the slips.
Gabriel had the last laugh when he got Ollie Pope bowled for 91. Roach got to 200 Test wickets, bowling Chris Woakes off for just one. England lost three wickets in the morning for just 10 runs, when Jason Holder caught Buttler (67) off Gabriel. Holder also caught Jofra Archer (3) off Roach, and England had scored just 22 runs.
Stuart Broad made a very useful cameo, with three fours in five balls of a Jason Holder over. The former backed away and pulled in to the vacant square leg area to collect a boundary off a short ball from Holder and brought up his half century in just 33 balls. Broad was caught by Jermaine Blackwood off Roston Chase for 62.
Holder got James Anderson for 11 and England were all out for 369. A confident flick from Kraigg Brathwaite (1) for a single started off West Indies’ innings. Soon after, Joe Root caught him, and Stuart Broad had struck in his first over.
Ben Stokes dropped John Campbell. Rory Burns caught him for 32 off Jofra Archer. Shai Hope was caught behind off Anderson for 17. At tea, West Indies were at 59/3 and were trailing England by 310 runs.
After tea, Shamrah Brooks (4) was also caught behind by Buttler off Anderson. The latter became the leading wicket taker for England in Tests against five different opponents. He had Blackwood out LBW but the batsman took a review to overturn the decision.
Chase was caught LBW off Stuart Broad for 9 runs. England lost a review, when they challenged a decision against Holder. Blackwood was bowled off Woakes for 26. Holder hit Archer for three fours in a row, speaking of his class. The umpires decided the light had gone too bad and called stumps on Day 2. West Indies are at 137/6, trailing by 232 runs.
The batsmen in the middle would look to build a big partnership to keep their chances of winning the match afloat.
Within half an hour of the day’s play, Shane Dowrich nudged down to fine leg for a couple, bringing up the fifty partnership between him and Jason Holder. The latter was out but thanks to a no ball; he could extend his stay at the crease. He also brought up his 2000th Test run.
But soon after, Stuart Broad caught Holder LBW for 46. Rahkeem Cornwall also fell to Broad for 10. Joe Root caught Kemar Roach for a duck off Broad. He finished with 6/32 as West Indies were all out for just 197. At lunch, England were at 10/0 and led the Windies by 182 runs.
West Indies lost a review when they challenged a decision against Dominic Sibley, who was in full flow along with Rory Burns. At tea, England were at 86 without losing any wickets, and led Windies by 258 runs.
The last time before this match that England openers put up a century stand was four years back. Sibley brought up his second half century of the series to go with his hundred at the same venue in the second test. Holder delivered the breakthrough for West Indies, when he caught Sibley LBW for 56, but not before Burns had also brought up his half century.
A fifty partnership also came up between Root (68) and Burns (90). The former also brought up his fifty with a boundary. England declared at 226/2.
Root caught Joseph Campbell for a duck off Broad. He also got Roach (4) when he was caught behind. He would look to pick his 500th wicket on Day 4. At stumps, West Indies were at 10/2, and need 389 more to win the series. Nothing except a big partnership can save the match for the Windies.
The most awaited moment of the game was there before even an hour of the day’s play, when Stuart Broad caught Kraigg Brathwaite LBW for 19, claiming his 500th Test wicket. Broad joined fellow pacer James Anderson as the only two English bowlers with 500 Test wickets or more. Broad’s father Chris, a former opening batsman, was at the ground to witness his son’s achievement in his role as the match referee.
Shai Hope was caught by Broad off Chris Woakes for 31, ending the tour on a low. Shamarh Brooks was caught behind off Woakes for 22. At lunch, West Indies were at 84/5.
A direct hit from Dom Bess resulted in the run out of Roston Chase (7), who was a good couple of yards outside the crease. Woakes picked up his third and fourth wickets as he caught Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich LBW for 12 and 8, respectively.
Broad picked up the final wicket, and England took the series away 2-1. West Indies were beaten by 269 runs.
Cricket resumed post the Covid-19 induced break and ended in quite some way. Broad was awarded the MoM and the MoS award. Roston Chase picked up the MoS award from the Windies’ side.