Friday 30 October, 2020

England take full control against West Indies

West Indies' Roston Chase, second left, celebrates with teammates the dismissal of England's Sam Curran during the second day of the second cricket Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Friday, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Super, Pool).

West Indies' Roston Chase, second left, celebrates with teammates the dismissal of England's Sam Curran during the second day of the second cricket Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, Friday, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Jon Super, Pool).

West Indies will have to fight to save the second Test as a  mighty fourth-wicket stand by centurions Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley put England firmly in charge on day two at Old Trafford.

Brought together with the hosts tottering at 81-3, opener Sibley and all-rounder Stokes watchfully added 126 by the close on Thursday and their weighty alliance was eventually worth 260.

Sibley was caught at deep midwicket by Kemar Roach off Roston Chase – whose 5-172 partially spared a beleaguered Windies seam attack – to depart for a steady 120 that featured few other moments of similar ambition.

The wisdom of England's scoring rate might only be known when Saturday's mixed Manchester weather forecast plays out, but Stokes was imperious for his 176 within 469-9 declared and Sam Curran's successful review to have John Campbell lbw for 12 left the tourists 32-1 at the close.

Attrition was the order of the morning, with Sibley particularly unflappable in his refusal to chase three figures, scoring a mere 15 from 63 deliveries in the session and bringing up a second Test ton in the third over before lunch.

Stokes was forced to break on 99 after bolting 40 on to his overnight score and he raised his bat after reverse-sweeping Chase to the fence.

The off-spinning all-rounder had a considerable workload as Alzarri Joseph pulled up injured during his 24th over and Shannon Gabriel toiled through 26 sets of six without rewards.

Chase trapped Ollie Pope (7) lbw after removing Sibley and Curran (17), who blasted a handsome straight six, top-edged a sweep to become his fifth victim and the last England batsman out.

The tireless Kemar Roach (2-58) had seen off Stokes and Chris Woakes, the latter for a duck, with consecutive balls, while Jos Buttler fell to Windies captain Jason Holder (1-70) – his 40 from 79 deliveries slightly underwhelming given the match situation.

Dom Bess' breezy unbeaten 31 lifted England past 450 and had Curran sent another leg before appeal against nightwatchman Joseph upstairs from the penultimate ball of the day, West Indies would have gone in two down.

 

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