England Buries The Windies

Broad to Blackwood, OUT!

 Strangled down the leg side, 10 for Broad! His first since 2013, would you believe?

 England win by 269 runs and take the series 2-1. This was dug in halfway down the pitch. Blackwood shapes to pull, got a fair bit of bat on it – or maybe some glove – and Buttler took a sharp catch down the leg side to finish things off

 Root picks up the Wisden Trophy and holds it aloft, all on his own… —

That was how the cookie crumbles in the third and final Test between England and the West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford.

The victory helps the England cricket team to secure third place in the ICC World Test Championship table. This game is the eighth Test series victory for the English team at home in the last six years. It was their 13th series, in which they’ve won eight and with five ended in a draw.

England now has 226 points after winning two matches in the series. India is on top with 360 points, while Australia is second with 296 points.

On the other hand, the West Indies are in seventh place with 40 points.

West Indies lost the plot when they decided to bowl first after winning the toss and also replacing pace bowler Alzarri Joseph with the off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall on a wicket that’s best suited for quick bowlers.

Repeating the same mistake of electing to field at the same stadium, Old Trafford, indicated that the batting department wasn’t trustworthy to last long on a Day 1 pitch.

On Day 1 at Stump, England completely dominated by scoring 258-4 courtesy of excellent knocks by the aggressive Ollie Pope (91*) and the under-pressured Jos Buttler (56*).

However, in the first hour of Day 2, the Windies came out with an intent to go for the kill. Roach became the first West Indies bowler to complete 200 wickets in the last 26 years.

The 32-year-old Roach became the West Indies’ 9th bowler to bowl 200 wickets, achieving this feat in his 59th Test match.

Roach and Gabriel dismissed the overnight batsmen Olie Pope and Jos Buttler along with Chirs Woakes and Jofra Archer for spit in the morning session.

With four wickets in quick succession, Jason Holder and his men must have felt that the tide had turned in their favor and consequently were all pumped up.

However, Stuart Broad had other plans, thrashing the Windies bowling all over the park. And when the dust was settled, he had scored a vital 63 runs in no time ensuring that England reached an unbeatable score.

The confidence in Broad’s batting had also reflected the performance of his bowling. The first time in the series, one was seeing the lethal combination of Broad and Anderson bowling together.

The England bowlers took quick wickets with the new ball.

John Campbell looked promising in the middle when quick wickets were falling but didn’t last for too long either. Windies batting had drastically failed as the series progressed. They managed to save the follow-on but didn’t score too many runs (197 all-out). Stuart Broad taking six wickets in the 1st innings indicated the hunger in him after getting dropped in the first test.

After the lead of 172 runs in the first innings, England declared their second innings by 226 runs for two wickets (courtesy of Rory Joseph Burns’ 90 and Joe Root’s 68) setting Windies a target of 399 runs on the third day of the match.

The West Indies start to chase but spluttered without a jump-start from the batters at the top. The team had lost two wickets for six runs, with the fourth day completely washed out due to rain.

On the fifth and final day, Broad became the second England bowler to take 500 wickets in Test cricket and the seventh bowler in the world to do so.

The pacer must have laughed at Windies batters and made a mockery of them, especially after exploiting the weakness of Kraigg Brathwaite, the established Windies batter who became his 500th victim.

The Windies didn’t last long in the second inning too as they were bowled out for a mere 129 runs. Chris Woakes’s 4th 5-wicket haul in the second innings showed intelligence on the part of skipper Root that going in with an extra seam bowler was the bold and right move to make.

The Windies team has disappointed their fans, especially after a promising start in the test series’ 1st match. A lot was expected from the team pre-series, and the hope was that they would have created history by defeating England in their backyard after 32 years  – a premature ejaculation if ever there was, one may say.

The Windies not only lost the series but also had to let go of the Wisden Trophy.

What next for the teams?

The Windies team will now head back to the Caribbean islands and start preparing for the CPL. On the other hand, the England team will sit back and relax for a few days before facing off against Pakistan in a 3 match Test series starting on the 5th of August.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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