Brooks takes West Indies to within sight of avoiding England follow-on in second Test - GulfToday

Brooks takes West Indies to within sight of avoiding England follow-on in second Test


Kraigg Brathwaite plays a shot during the fourth day of the second Test match at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday. Reuters

Shamarh Brooks led the West Indies to within sight of avoiding the follow-on in the second Test against England at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The tourists, already 1-0 up in this three-match series, were 227-4 at tea on the fourth day, needing just 43 more runs to make England bat again in Manchester.

Brooks was 60 not out, having kept England at bay in an attractive fourth-wicket partnership of 76 with opener Kraigg Brathwaite.

But Brathwaite's hopes of following his 134 in a five-wicket win against England at Headingley three years ago with another hundred ended on 75 when, trying to turn Ben Stokes legside, he was caught and bowled off a leading edge.

It was a desperately needed wicket for England with all-rounder Stokes, whose superb 176 was the cornerstone of their first innings 469-9 declared, not brought on to bowl by captain Joe Root until the 51st over of West Indies' reply.

England's best chance of winning this match, following a four-wicket loss in the first Test at Southampton last week, lay in enforcing the follow-on after rain had washed out Saturday's third day at Old Trafford.

By contrast, play resumed on Sunday in bright sunshine with Wisden Trophy holders West Indies, looking for their first series win in England since 1988, 32-1.

Nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph, who might have been lbw to Sam Curran had England reviewed on Friday, should have been dismissed for 16 on Sunday when he edged Chris Woakes.

But third slip Ben Stokes dropped the catch after Zak Crawley, moving across from second slip, obscured his view.

Off-spinner Dom Bess, however, succeeded where England's quicks had failed when, with just his second ball of the day, he had Joseph caught by Ollie Pope at short leg for 32 with a sharply turning delivery.

Wasted review

The West Indies were now 70-2, with England looking to regain the Wisden Trophy after a 2-1 series loss in the Caribbean last year.

But Hope, whose lone two Test hundreds were at Headingley in 2017, cover-drove left-arm swing bowler Curran for two fours.

England wasted a review after Brathwaite, on 24, was rightly given not out following a caught-behind appeal off Woakes.

Dom Sibley then referred himself to the umpires after inadvertently applying saliva to the ball in breach of the bio-secure regulations governing this series.

But with players allowed some leeway, officials took no further action after cleaning the ball.

England came into this match with a revamped pace attack.

Having already decided to rest James Anderson and Mark Wood, in the midst of a schedule of six Tests in seven weeks, they have also been forced to do without Jofra Archer after the fast bowler was ruled out after admitting making an unauthorised trip outside of the teams' protective 'bubble' to his home after the first Test.

However, the England and Wales cricket Board announced on Saturday that, following a disciplinary hearing, Archer would be available for the third Test at Old Trafford starting on July 24.

England had established a strong position by making 469-9 declared after losing the toss.

All-rounder Stokes top-scored with 176 and opener Sibley made a painstaking 120, the pair sharing a fourth-wicket partnership of 260.

Agence France-Presse



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