Cricket

Windies stutter in 485 chase


ENGLAND IN WEST INDIES 2019

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Anderson picked three wickets as Windies slipped to 35 for 4. © AFP

James Anderson put England one step closer to victory in the final Test with an outstanding spell of bowling with the new ball to reduce Windies to 35 for 4 at lunch on Day 4. While Anderson picked up three wickets, Mark Wood added one before the break leaving the hosts on the brink of a massive defeat.

England came out with plenty of intent with the bat to begin the day. Ben Stokes smashed just his second ball of the day straight down the ground for a boundary. Kemar Roach resorted to taking the pace off the ball to combat Stokes’s threat but the left-hander came out on top anyway hitting a four and a six off successive deliveries in the third over of the day.

Root, at the other end, tried a couple of ramp shots in vain as England added 35 runs in the first five overs of the day. Shannon Gabriel then bowled a low full toss which was clipped to the short-midwicket fielder by Root and with that dismissal, England declared without waiting further to stretch the lead past 500.

It was then Anderson’s turn to dictate terms. Chasing 485, Windies began the chase with a boundary towards the third man region but two balls later, John Campbell tried playing an expansive drive only to edge it behind where Moeen Ali took an outstanding one-handed catch at gully. And then in his next over, Anderson got rid of the Windies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, who only managed to edge one to Stokes at slip. Darren Bravo, who had injured his hand, came out to bat at his usual position and Anderson, brimming with confidence, wasted a review while attempting to send the left-hander back to the pavilion for a first-ball duck.

Eventually, the veteran had his man when Bravo played a loose drive with no feet movement whatsoever to gift Anderson his third wicket. The ball moving away from the left-hander, took the outside to first slip. Shai Hope, who had a torrid time during his stay out in the middle, had to take the long walk back before the break without making use of the reprieve he received earlier at the slip cordon.

Wood, threatening with some serious pace once again, had created doubts in the batsman’s mind with Hope hopping in the crease tentatively expecting the ball to rise very high. Instead, it took the leading edge with Stuart Broad taking a comfortable catch at cover. It’s only a matter of time before the visitors finish the formalities.

Brief scores: Windies 154 & 35/4 (Shai Hope 14; James Anderson 3-7) trail England 277 & 361/5d (Joe Root 122, Joe Denly 69; Shannon Gabriel 2-95) by 450 runs.

© Cricbuzz

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