Mayers takes Windies close to victory in Test decider
ST GEORGE’S – Kyle Mayers followed up a maiden Test hundred from Joshua da Silva with a destructive, career-best spell and West Indies surged to within sight of a stunning win over England in the deciding third Test on Saturday in the Spice Isle of Grenada.
Mayers ended the day with the incredible figures of 13-7-9-5, and the English finished the third day of the Test at the National Cricket Stadium only 10 ahead with two second innings wickets standing on 103 for eight.
Da Silva, starting the day on 54, was undefeated on exactly 100 after Kemar Roach failed to add to his overnight score of 25 and Jayden Seales was the final wicket to fall for 13, and West Indies were bowled out for 297 in their first innings, earning a precious 93-run lead.
After Seales got Zak Crawley for the third time in the series when the England opener was caught at second slip for four, Mayers had the visitors wobbling on 43 for four at tea when he claimed three wickets before the break, including the prized scalp of prolific England captain Joe Root for five.
The ambidextrous Barbados Pride all-rounder got Root caught at first slip edging a rising ball, bowled Dan Lawrence for a sixth-ball duck with the batsman offering no stroke, and had talismanic left-hander Ben Stokes caught behind for four failing to pull his bat out of the way of a rising ball.
After tea, Alzarri Joseph ended a period of resistance from England when he got Jonny Bairstow caught behind for 22 before a throw from Mayers to wicketkeeper da Silva ran out Ben Foakes five balls later for two in the same over.
Mayers returned in the final hour of the day, and he bowled innings top scorer Alex Lees for 31 and got Overton caught at third slip for one, and left the visitors needing a miracle to avoid defeat and giving the Windies the first claim to the Vivian Richards & Ian Botham Trophy, the newly-minted symbol of Test supremacy between the two sides.
Earlier, da Silva reached his milestone from 255 balls when he pulled pacer Craig Overton straight down the ground for the last of his 10 boundaries.
Importantly, he put on 52 for the last wicket with Trinidad & Tobago Red Force teammate Jayden Seales that frustrated England for almost two hours after Roach was caught behind off Saqib Mahmood in the first half-hour.
Chris Woakes was the most successful English bowler with 3-59 from 25 overs, and Mahmood, Stokes, and Overton all ended with two wickets apiece.
The three-Test series is level at 0-0 after the first two Tests – at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and Kensington Oval in Barbados – were drawn.
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) and 103 for eight (Alex Lees 31, Jonny Bairstown 22; Kyle Mayers 13-7-9-5).
WEST INDIES 297 (Joshua da Silva 100 not out, John Campbell 35, Kyle Mayers 28, Alzarri Joseph 28, Kemar Roach 25 not out, Jermaine Blackwood 18, Kraigg Brathwaite 17, Shamarh Brooks 13, Jayden Seales 13; Chris Woakes 3-59, Saqib Mahmood 2-45, Be Stokes 2-4, Craig Overton 2-81).