Wickets tumble in Bridgetown

2015-05-03 08:26
James Anderson (Gallo)

Bridgetown - James Anderson wrecked the West Indies but England were tottering at 39 for five in their second innings, a lead of 107 runs, on the second day of the third and final Test on Saturday.

On a pitch that is rapidly deteriorating, 18 wickets fell in the three sessions, the most in a single day's play in the 85 years of Test cricket at the venue.

After being the last wicket to fall in the tourists' seemingly modest first innings total of 257 in the morning, the irrepressible Anderson claimed six for 42 - his 17th five-wicket innings haul - to mastermind the demolition of the home side for 189.

Only Jermaine Blackwood offered any substantial resistance with a counter-attacking innings of 85 before he was last out off Anderson, who is now just four away from becoming the first Englishman to take 400 Test wickets.

In 21 overs to the close, England lost half their side and will resume on the third morning with the pair of Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes at the crease.

They will seek to build a match-winning lead in pursuit of a 2-0 series triumph at a venue where the highest successful fourth inning chase is 311 by the Brian Lara-led West Indies against Australia in 1999.

Jerome Taylor extended Jonathan Trott's miserable run of form and then consigned Ian Bell to only his second "pair" in Test cricket.

In between, first innings centurion Alastair Cook edged Shannon Gabriel to second slip while Jason Holder accounted for Joe Root in his first over as the West Indies bowlers strove to keep their team in contention.

In the penultimate over of the day, Moeen Ali played on to specialist spinner Veerasammy Permaul.

It was Taylor who had started the ball rolling by polishing off the England first innings for the addition of another 17 runs in the morning.

He made up for a wicketless first day by taking all three, including the last two off consecutive deliveries.

Then it was the turn of England's most successful wicket-taker in Tests to steal the spotlight, dispensing with both openers before adding the important scalp of second Test centurion Marlon Samuels in an outstanding opening spell of bowling before lunch.

Anderson's second ball of the innings was a perfect outswinger that peeled off Kraigg Brathwaite's bat for Chris Jordan to take the catch at second slip before he had scored.

In his first Test innings, Shai Hope was unable to cope with the wiles of Anderson, edging low to Cook at first slip.

Samuels' dismissal was probably the most impressive however, a succession of outswingers being followed by a big inswinger to which the batsman offered no shot to be palpably leg-before.

England's support bowlers chipped through the West Indies middle-order in the afternoon session but it was left to the relentless tormentor of the Caribbean side in this series to finish off the job with the final three wickets after tea.

That haul included Blackwood, who was last out seeking to clear long-off to end an entertaining innings of 85 off just 88 balls highlighted by 11 fours and four sixes.

England lead the three-match series 1-0 after winning the second Test in Grenada by nine wickets while the opening game in Antigua was drawn.

Read more on:    england  |  west indies  |  cricket

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