England bowlers made the most of the second new ball to rip apart the West Indies lower order and then end Day 4 on 37/2 with a lead of 219 at stumps of the second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday.
The Windies were 227/4 going into tea but lost six wickets in a hurry in the last session to manage 287, and trail England by 182.
At close of play, England’s star allrounder Ben Stokes — who opened the batting with Jos Buttler — was batting on 16 with captain Joe Root (8 batting) for company.
Buttler, sent up the order with Stokes to fire away from ball one, played on a Kemar Roach delivery on to his stumps. Roach also castled Zak Crawley (11) to end the day on 2/14.
Stuart Broad (3/66) and Chris Woakes (3/42) got three wickets each with Sam Curran (2/70) bagging two for the hosts. Broad trapped Shamarh Brooks (68) in front to start the onslaught in the third session with then doing the damage to clean up the tail.
For the Windies, Kraigg Brathwaite (75), Brooks and Roston Chase (51) cracked half centuries. Last match’s hero Jermaine Blackwood and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich could not open their accounts as skipper Jason Holder (2) also failed with the bat.
Earlier, Brathwaite was dismissed by Ben Stokes but his fourth wicket stand of 76 with Brooks helped the tourists get close to England’s first innings score of 469/9d.
The big talking point of the day was when on-field umpires were forced to disinfect the match ball after England’s Dominic Sibley inadvertently applied saliva on the cherry — the first instance since the new ICC regulations have come into play.
Before the start of the 42nd over of the visitors’ innings, umpire Michael Gough was seen unwrapping a tissue and he subsequently rubbed it on both sides of the ball.
It was later revealed that Sibley had accidentally applied saliva on the ball and the home side brought the matter immediately to the notice of the umpires, who went ahead and sanitised the ball.
The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Cricket Committee chaired by Anil Kumble had earlier recommended banning the usage of saliva to polish the match ball in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
On the field, Brathwaite looked unfazed as he first stitched a 54-run stand with night watchman Alzarri Joseph (32) and then joined hands with Windies’ batting mainstay Shai Hope, who looked good on 25 from 71 balls (5×4). The duo added 53 runs together.
Just after lunch, Hope was removed by Curran as he forced the batsman to nick a ball in the corridor for wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to smother an easy catch.
Brathwaite and Brooks then looked very solid as England bowlers had to toil hard to break their partnership before the world-class Stokes set up Brathwaite with a barrage of bouncers from around the wicket to finally have him caught and bowled off a back of a length delivery.
Play was not possible on the third day due to persistent rains at Old Trafford.
Resuming at 32/1, Brathwaite and Joseph looked good before off-spinner Dom Bess had Joseph caught at short leg by Ollie Pope.
Hope then joined Brathwaite in the middle and played three delectable cover drives to get going as his partner at the other end looked to graft.
After losing the first Test, the hosts’ Stokes and Dom Sibley slammed respective centuries and put on a mammoth 260-run stand, before England declared for 469/9 in their first innings.
Brief Scores: West Indies 287 (Brathwaite 75, Brooks 68, Chase 51; Broad 3/66, Woakes 3/42) vs England 469/9 & 37/2 (Stokes 16 batting, Root 8 batting; Roach 2/14)