England stretch lead despite losing openers

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ENGLAND TOUR OF WEST INDIES, 2018-19

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Joe Root took England's lead past the 200-run mark

Joe Root took England’s lead past the 200-run mark © Getty

England lost openers Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings in the morning session on the third day but still managed to put themselves in a strong position in St. Lucia. The visitors stretched their lead to 231 at the break and with eight wickets still remaining, they will fancy themselves to set Windies a challenging target.

Windies made an ideal start to the day’s play when Paul sent Burns back to the pavilion off the very first delivery. A full delivery bowled on the pads should have been swatted away but Burns hit it straight to square leg to give the hosts a dream start. Joe Denly then guided the next ball to the third man region for a boundary and continued to remain positive throughout the session.

Shannon Gabriel started off with five wides but then found his rhythm in his second over and should have had Denly, only for Shimron Hetmyer to put down a straightforward chance.

Prior to that, Paul injured himself in the same over while chasing a delivery driven by Denly through the covers. Initially giving the ball a chase, Paul stopped and then eventually had to be stretchered off the field with Cricket Windies later confirming that the pacer suffered a right quadricep strain making his participation for the rest of the Test match doubtful. Denly then grew in confidence as he fetched back-to-back boundaries off Gabriel with one of them being a perfectly-timed straight drive.

Jennings managed to survive for quite sometime but looked tentative in his stay as he continued to fight for his spot in the side. Eventually, he got unlucky as a delivery bowled by Alzarri Joseph ricocheted off his pads to knock off the bails. Joe Root then punished two short deliveries to get going, with the lead eventually going past 200. Already a bowler short, Windies need a special spell to drag themselves back into this contest.

Brief scores: England 277 & 108/2 (Joe Denly 45*; Keemo Paul 1-11) lead Windies 154 by 231 runs

© Cricbuzz

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