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    August 04

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Broad keeps hope alive for England


Added 19 July 2020


West Indies' Kraigg Brathwaite in action, July 19, 2020. (Reuters)

Manchester - An explosive spell from Stuart Broad on the fourth evening kept alive England's hopes of winning the second Test against West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford.

Broad, who said he was "angry, frustrated and gutted" to be left out of the first Test, took three wickets in 14 deliveries with the second new ball to inspire the home side after West Indies looked to be batting towards a position of safety.

Kraigg Brathwaite made 75 and Shamarh Brooks 68, but when Brooks was trapped lbw by Broad it began a slide from 242-4 to 260-8.

Roston Chase's 51 dragged the tourists past the follow-on mark, only for Chris Woakes to remove him and Shannon Gabriel in the same over to bowl West Indies out for 287, 182 behind.

The sight of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler striding out to open the batting for England 40 minutes from the close was thrilling, evoking memories of the World Cup final super over a year ago.

However, in a chaotic eight overs Buttler fell for a duck and Zak Crawley 10 to leave England 37-2, leading by 219.

They will continue the quest for quick runs on Monday, setting up a declaration before looking to take the 10 wickets that would level the three-match series at 1-1.

England pace bowler Jofra Archer, who was dropped from this Test for breaching the bio-secure protocols, returned to training by bowling in the nets.

With the third day lost to rain and West Indies blunting England's attack for most of the fourth, this match seemed destined to meander to the draw that would see the tourists retain the Wisden Trophy.

Indeed, for so long Sunday's most noteworthy occurrence was Dom Sibley absent-mindedly breaching coronavirus playing conditions by applying saliva to the ball, resulting in the umpires having to sanitise it.

That was all changed by Broad's brilliant burst and the contest is now set for an intriguing conclusion on Monday.

Although West Indies have been solid with the bat in this series, England will feel they have a genuine chance of bowling them out on a pitch that is starting to show uneven bounce.

England captain Joe Root will have to calculate his declaration carefully, not only to give his bowlers enough time, but possibly leave West Indies a target that could tempt them into a run-chase.

West Indies are likely to be focused on survival, but they will know victory would secure a first series win in England since 1988.

Lack of pace

After West Indies resumed on 32-1, England were frustrated by the stubbornness of the batting, the lack of pace in the pitch and several half-chances that were missed.

The pace bowlers were struggling to find movement and off-spinner Dom Bess could not find a consistent length, even if he had nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph turn to short leg before Shai Hope was caught behind off the wholehearted Sam Curran.

Stokes did not bowl until after lunch, and the sight of him banging in short ball after short ball during a tireless 11-over spell highlighted the absence of Archer's pace. (BBC)


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