Brilliant England Bounce Back Against Stunned West Indies

Smart decision making from England and some final bowling from Stuart Broad ensured the hosts levelled the test series 1-1.

Despite not being able to play at all in the third day, a strong first innings and some great work by England’s bowlers allowed them to take advantage and clinch the victory. After setting themselves up well on the fourth day, the fifth day proved to be the highlight of the test with an exciting finish.

Here is the match report for the second test at Old Trafford between England and the West Indies.

Day One

West Indies won the toss at the start at 12pm on the first day of the second test, as rain delayed the start of play. Jason Holder opted to bowl first – and it seemed to be a good decision at first.

Either side of lunch, England were already two down courtesy of Royston Chase, when he dismissed Rory Burns (15) and Zac Crawley for a golden duck. Things were looking dire for England at 29-2 and it almost got even worse when Holder had a shout for LBW. However, the ball was pitching outside off the captain just about got away with it.

Root and Sibley managed to fight back against the tourists before the former edged Joseph to Holder at second slip at 81-3, with Root scoring a mediocre 23 runs on his return. However, England did manage to get to tea at 112-3, with poor light casting doubt over how much cricket could be played on the opening day.

Despite this, England managed to push on without losing another wicket between tea and stumps and finished the day on 207-3.

Day Two

The hosts started from where they left off at stumps on day one – and continued building their lead without the loss of a wicket before lunch. At the end of the season, Sibley reached his century and Stokes was just one run off reaching three figures himself.

After lunch, England took themselves past the 300 mark, with Ben Stokes scoring a brilliant six in the 115th over. However, the 250 runs+ partnership came to an end just after the drinks break when Sibley’s (120) hook was caught by Royston Chase. A brilliant innings for Sibley, who was patient throughout and built up a great total with Ben Stokes. From 81-3 to 341-4, England had turned their innings around.

However, they threatened to unravel when Ollie Pope (7) went for lbw. Now it was the turn of Jos Buttler to stabilise things once again.

Two quickfire wickets from Kemar Roache just before England reached 400 runs was a blow, especially for Ben Stokes (176) and Woakes (0, golden duck) who were dismissed. However, Buttler kept chipping away taking the first innings to 424 runs before two more quick wickets followed. The England wicket-keeper (40) and Curran (17) were the victims. The latter wicket took spinner Chase to five wickets – a very good record in a disappointing innings for the West Indies.

Everyone thought the innings was pretty much over – but Dom Bess and Stuart Broad intended on having a bit of fun first. Some great batting, combined with a few howlers by the tourists, left England on 469-9 until they declared, leaving the West Indies to face a considerable number of overs before stumps on day two.

England managed to dismiss John Campbell (12), although the West Indies survived without further loss at the end of the second day.

Day Three

Rain ruined any chance of play on day three – and gave the West Indies the chance to push on for a draw after suffering from England’s batting over two days.

Day Four

The hosts suffered even more frustration when the West Indies managed to take their tally up to 70 until nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph (32) was caught by Ollie Pope on the off-side. However, the West Indies made it to lunch at 118-2.

Just after the interval, Sam Curran took his second wicket of the innings when Hope edged his delivery to Buttler. The tourists had to survive a review soon after – although this gave Braithwaite and Brooks a second chance to go on and build a partnership.

England could not make another breakthrough until the WI nearly reached 200, when Ben Stokes caught his own delivery to Braithwaite (75). No further luck came Root’s side’s way and the innings score was up at 227-4, just 53 runs short of avoiding the follow-on.

Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes took advantage of the new ball shortly after tea and went on a rampage, with Brooks (68) going from a Broad lbw. Sam Curran thought he had another wicket before WI overturned the decision with a review. Jermaine Blackwood (0) was dismissed for a duck by Broad, before also taking out Shane Dowrich. Woakes continued the good work when captain Holder (2) edged him to Joe Root at first slip. At 260-8, the West Indies still required ten runs to avoid the follow-on.

A couple of boundaries from Royston Chase ensured that got to that target, although they only scored 17 more runs after reaching the target before being bowled out. Royston Chase (51) reached his half-century in that time. However, he was dismissed soon after courtesy of a Chris Woakes lbw, before the bowler bowled Shannon Gabriel (0) to end the tourists’ first innings.

In a bid to increase their strike rate, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler (0) became England’s openers in their second innings. However, the latter was soon gone when he dragged a Kemar Roach delivery on to the stumps and went for a duck. Roach also bowled Zak Crawley (11) – but England finished strongly and ended the day on 37-2, a lead of 219 runs going in to the final day.

Day Five

This promised to be a brilliant day of test cricket with the match set up perfectly for an exciting finale.

Ben Stokes (78 not out) and Joe Root (22) continued to build a good lead until 90 runs in to their second innings when the latter was run out. This wasn’t a blow for him at all and wanted to get Stokes on strike as much as possible. Now it was down to Ollie Pope (12 not out) to finish off the innings with the first test captain. Pope survived a review before England took their total to 129 runs and declared – giving the West Indies a total of 312 to chase.

The hosts also made the perfect start in the West Indies’ second inning, when Campbell (4) edged a Broad delivery to Buttler and gave them the perfect start. Braithwaite (12) went soon after for a Woakes lbw and Broad added to his tally by bowling Hope (7) before lunch. This left the tourists at 25-3 going in to the lunch interval – and in serious danger of losing the test.

Royston Chase went shortly after lunch from a Broad lbw, before Brooks and Blackwood attempted to provide some stability. Blackwood (55) survived until just before tea leaving the West Indies at 137-5 going in to the last session when he swatted a Stokes delivery for Buttler to catch.

Dowrich (0) was dismissed for a duck in the first over after tea and it took England another hour for them to get their next dismissal. Brooks (62) fell victim to a Curran lbw and the hosts still needed three wickets to secure the test victory.

Two more wickets in 15 minutes put them within one of victory. Dom Bess dismissed Holder (35) after being hit for six by the West Indies captain in the same over, before catching Joseph from a Stokes delivery.

Bess finished the game off when his delivery to Roach (5) was caught by Joseph at short leg from Pope, setting up a third test decider.

Result: England win by 113 runs

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