Advantage England after Wood's five-fer

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ENGLAND TOUR OF WINDIES, 2019

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Wood picked up a five-fer on his return to the Test XI.

Wood picked up a five-fer on his return to the Test XI. © AFP

A fiery Mark Wood bowled England to an advantageous position at the end of the second day’s play at St. Lucia in the third and final Test against the Windies. Wood, returning to the Test XI, bowled with venom to pick up a five-wicket haul that helped his side fetch a 123-run first-innings lead, which was later stretched to 142 by stumps by the English openers.

England actually didn’t have the greatest of starts to the day’s play as they lost overnight batsmen Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes early in the morning session. Despite wresting control with a century partnership in the final session on the opening day, losing both set batsmen proved to be costly for the visitors. Shannon Gabriel disturbed Buttler’s stumps with one that kept coming back in with the angle whereas Kemar Roach sent back Stokes with a short ball as Shane Dowrich took an excellent diving catch.

The procession continued as England suffered a collapse that looked all too familiar. Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali didn’t last long as Roach made further inroads. The pacer shattered Bairstow’s stumps with a vicious inswinger whereas Moeen edged Alzarri Joseph behind to slip. Roach added two more wickets to his name and finished with a four-wicket haul as England lost their six wickets for the addition of just 46 runs in the morning.

It appeared as if they would go onto have a long day in the field when Windies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell saw off the new ball spell and added 57 for the opening wicket. While Brathwaite was at his usual-cautious self, Campbell was the aggressor picking up regular boundaries. Joe Root’s decision to then bring on Moeen worked wonders as the offspinner took out both Brathwaite and Campbell off successive deliveries with the former playing an uncharacteristic shot to get caught in the boundary.

Wood then came onto bowl with a lot of pace and engineered a collapse that left the Windies reeling at 74/5 at the Tea. First, it was Shai Hope who carelessly edged one to gully while attempting a drive and then off the very next ball, a rising delivery took Roston Chase’s outside edge with gully coming into play once again. In the final over before the Tea break, Wood added a third when Shimron Hetmyer too succumbed to the pace, edging one to first slip.

While Darren Bravo became Wood’s fourth victim immediately after Tea, Dowrich stitched useful stands with Keemo Paul and Roach to give his side some hope. But Paul was sucked into making a mistake by Moeen, who had him stumped whereas Dowrich was done in by a top delivery from Stuart Broad who got the ball to straighten after pitching to rap the batsman on his pads. Even though the umpire ruled it not out, Broad managed to overturn the decision before getting into the act once again by taking a stunning one-handed catch running backwards from mid on that gave Moeen his fourth wicket.

Wood then delivered the perfect yorker to Gabriel to mark his successful comeback with a five-fer. Keaton Jennings, fighting to keep his spot, batted cautiously without giving any half chances and batted out the tricky ten-over period before stumps alongside his opening partner Rory Burns. A vital third day awaits both Jennings and England.

Brief scores: England 277 & 19/0 (Rory Burns 10*, Keaton Jennings 8*) lead Windies 154 (John Campbell 41, Shane Dowrich 38; Mark Wood 5-41, Moeen Ali 4-36) by 142 runs

© Cricbuzz

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