- in Environment
|Third Test, Emirates Old Trafford (day three of five)|
|England 369 & 226-2dec: Burns 90, Root 68*, Sibley 56|
|West Indies 197 & 10-2: Broad 2-8|
Stuart Broad’s six wickets left England on the verge of a series victory over West Indies on the third day of the deciding Test at Emirates Old Trafford.
Broad took all of the West Indies wickets to fall across two innings, starting with four in four overs for 6-31 in the first. The tourists were all out for 197, 172 behind.
Late in the day, with Jason Holder’s side set a nominal 399 to win, the brilliant Broad struck twice more, leaving West Indies 10-2.
He is poised on 499 Test wickets, one away from becoming only the fourth pace bowler to reach 500.
England’s lead had been extended first by an opening stand of 114 between Rory Burns and Dom Sibley, who made 56.
The arrival of captain Joe Root was the signal to accelerate, with the hosts mindful of a forecast predicting rain will heavily disrupt Monday’s play.
The second-wicket pair added 112 at 6.5 an over, Root skating to 68 not out from 56 balls.
When Burns top-edged a sweep to fall 10 runs short of his third Test century, it was the signal for England to declare on 226-2.
- Watch Today at the Test on BBC iPlayer
- TMS podcast: Broad closes on 500 wickets as England have victory in sight
- Relive the day’s best clips and analysis
England in charge at last
This is a been a competitive series, both teams making light of the bio-secure, behind-closed-doors environment to serve up a compelling contest.
Only now, midway through the final Test, have England asserted their dominance, grinding down the visitors in the Sunday sunshine.
For as good as England have been, there is the feeling West Indies ran out of steam at the end of a challenging trip that has seen them spend all but one week living, training and playing at Emirates Old Trafford.
Little went right for them after the first spell of Broad-induced carnage. Captain Holder took a painful blow to the thumb while fielding at second slip, while weary opening bowler Shannon Gabriel could only manage five overs.
In that time, he hit struggling wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich in the face, forcing him from the field. Shai Hope took the gloves, then reserve Joshua da Silva was summoned from the nets, meaning the Windies had three keepers in the space of 45 minutes.
When they failed to review Rahkeem Cornwall’s lbw shout against Burns that would have seen him fall for 75, it summed up their miserable day.
Broad does it again
Since Broad publicly voiced his displeasure at being left out of the first Test, he has taken 14 wickets at 10.50 and averaged 73 with the bat.
His morning burst was his third destructive spell in as many innings, begging the question as to why England ignored him for almost the entire first hour of the day.
By that point, Holder and Dowrich had moved West Indies from their overnight 137-6 past the follow-on mark of 170 with relative ease, albeit if Holder was held by a flying Ollie Pope off a marginal Chris Woakes no-ball.
Broad’s intervention changed all that. With a full length and some nip in to the right-handers, he returned a spell of 4-14 for his best figures in a home Test since his famous 8-15 against Australia five years ago.
Holder was stuck on the crease to be lbw, Cornwall played across the line to fall in the same manner, Kemar Roach edged his third ball to first slip and Dowrich miscued a pull to mid-on.
In the evening sunshine, there was still time for John Campbell to be caught at first slip and nightwatchman Roach to nick off again, leaving Broad with figures in the day of 6-22.
Batsmen pile on the pain
England’s comfortable position and the patient styles of Burns and Sibley led to a meandering passage of play in the afternoon.
There was the curiosity of West Indies’ wicketkeeping situation, with Da Silva losing his footing when given the chance to stump Burns off Roston Chase when the left-hander had 12.
Sibley accumulated through the leg side and Burns nudged and pushed square of the wicket for England’s first century opening stand in a home Test since 2016.
After Sibley was lbw to Holder, Root arrived and immediately signalled England’s intention to push for the declaration.
He danced to play down the ground and through mid-wicket, with Burns sliding into the slipstream with sweeps and reverse-sweeps.
Root reached his half-century from 49 balls and was perhaps only delaying the declaration for a Burns hundred that ultimately never came.
‘Broad’s achievements are remarkable’ – what they said
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, on the TMS podcast: “Because Stuart Broad has had to always be around James Anderson it’s been Anderson then Broad.
“But what Stuart has achieved is remarkable. He’s had some low moments in the last few years, where his rhythm and pace have been done.
“Maybe lockdown has done the trick for him – a time to just think about things, where he’s at and what he wants to achieve in his career.
“The way he’s been bowling, he’s guaranteed to reach 500 Test wickets in this match.”
West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite: “West Indies could be all gloom and doom but someone in that dressing room should think they can play a brilliant innings to save this match, especially if the rain interrupts a lot of play tomorrow.”
England opener Rory Burns on Test Match Special: “Joe Root spoke to me at tea about possibly declaring tonight so after that we tried to nudge it on. The weather is definitely the big factor behind the declaration.
“I think I might have got another over to try and reach 100 if I’d not got out but the most important thing is the victory.
“It’s always nice to get a hundred but it’s always nice to get a Test win. I thought Joe played really nicely, especially being able to come in and score more than a run a ball.”