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Windies worn down after Mahmood and Leach rally England


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Windies worn down after Mahmood and Leach rally England
West Indies wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva (left), Jason Holder (second from left) and John Campbell (right) celebrate after pacer Jayden Seales scalped another England wicket - WIPA

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ST GEORGE’S – West Indies let a strong start to the deciding third Test against England slip away on Thursday in Grenada after a defiant last wicket stand between Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood led a recovery for the visitors before they were all out for 204.

Jayden Seales bowled Chris Woakes for 25 with the second ball after tea and the Windies, choosing to field, had the English on the ropes on 114 for nine on the first day of the Test at the National Cricket Stadium.

But the Caribbean side toiled for another hour-and-a-half before Jermaine Blackwood bowled Mahmood with the third-last ball of the day for a lifetime best of 49 after the England pacer, playing only his second Test, shared 90 with Leach, not out on 41.

Ambidextrous all-rounder Kyle Mayers, playing for the first time in the series, gave West Indies a bright start to the Test snaring the scalps of opener Zak Crawley and the prolific England captain Joe Root – both century-makers in the series – in the first hour of play and the visitors stumbled to 46 for three at lunch.

After lunch, the Windies bowled consistently and with purpose, claiming five wickets – including two apiece to pacers Alzarri Joseph and Kemar Roach – and the English wobbled to 14 for eight at tea.

After Seales removed Woakes, the Caribbean side failed to swiftly deal with Leach and Mahmood, and they fought hard to earn the English a respectable total.

Seales was the most successful West Indies bowler with 3-40 from 17 overs, and Mayers, Joseph, and Roach captured two wickets apiece. The Windies will start their reply on Friday.

Both sides made one change to their line-ups from the previous match, with the Windies replacing left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul with Mayers, and the English bringing back Craig Overton for fellow pacer Matthew Fisher after overcoming the illness that sidelined him in Barbados.

The three-Test series for the Vivian Richards and Ian Botham Trophy is level at 0-0 after the first two Tests in the series – ending two Saturdays ago at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, and last Sunday at Kensington Oval in Barbados – were drawn.

Summarised scores:

ENGLAND 204 (Saqib Mahmood 49, Jack Leach 41, Alex Lees 31, Chris Woakes 25, Craig Overton 14; Jayden Seales 3-40, Kyle Mayers 2-13, Alzarri Joseph 2-33, Kemar Roach 2-41) vs WEST INDIES.

(AR)