Gros-Islet - Joe Root's 16th Test century highlighted England's first day of
complete dominance in an otherwise disappointing Caribbean campaign as
the captain anchored his team to an unassailable position by the end of
the third day of the third and final Test against the West Indies at the
Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.
unbeaten 111 off 209 deliveries included just nine boundaries and
typified the tourists' effort to make amends for previous failures in
reaching stumps at 325 for four in their second innings, an overall lead
of 448 runs with two days still available to push for a consolation
victory having already surrendered the series and the Wisden Trophy with
heavy defeats in the first two matches in Barbados and Antigua.
the home side short-handed in the bowling department on the day due to
an early injury to Keemo Paul, England took full advantage of the
Root had never gone through an entire Test series
without at least registering a half-century, and with just 55 runs from
the five previous innings against a reinvigorated West Indies team he
was due to come good. It happened on a day when a few others in a
suspect England batting order managed to get important runs under their
Successive partnerships of 74 for the third wicket with Joe
Denly (69), 107 for the fourth wicket with Jos Buttler (56) and 71 so
far for the fifth wicket with Ben Stokes (29 not out) ensured that the
captain's steadying influence was ever-present from the moment he
arrived at the crease midway through the morning session.
extravagance he compiled his innings carefully while those around him
showed a bit more aggression against a depleted West Indies attack which
left much of the burden on the shoulders of fast bowlers Kemar Roach
and Shannon Gabriel.
"It's really pleasing to make a start count,"
said Root at the end of the day.
"I was frustrated in the first innings
and I'm glad to make it count after getting in. I managed to find ways
of scoring runs at times when I didn't feel great but it felt like it
A morning of
misfortune and misadventure saw England ensuring there was no repetition
of the collapses which have defined this Caribbean tour so far,
although the early signs were not encouraging.
Resuming at the
overnight position of 19 without loss, the tourists suffered an
immediate setback when Rory Burns clipped the first delivery of the
morning to Alzarri Joseph at square-leg to give Paul immediate success.
the young all-rounder, drafted into the final eleven for this match due
to the suspension of regular captain Jason Holder for a slow over-rate
offence in the previous match, left the field on a stretcher shortly
after as he appeared to suffer a serious leg injury chasing a ball to
West Indies did not help their increasingly
difficult situation when Shimron Hetmyer put down a simple chance
offered by Denly off Gabriel. It proved a costly miss.
He lost the
other opening batsman, Keaton Jennings, midway through the morning when
the left-hander attempted to turn a delivery from Joseph top the
leg-side and the ball ricocheted off his body onto the stumps to send
him back to the pavilion for 23.
If West Indies felt they had
opened a doorway to the vulnerable core of the England batting they were
left disappointed as Denly, mindful about increasing questions over his
credentials as a Test batsman, played fluently after his early life
with the captain alongside. However Gabriel had the last laugh when
dismissing the Kent batsman to a catch at the wicket in mid-afternoon.
Denly before him, Buttler played the role of the aggressor in his
century stand with Root until Roach produced an unplayable delivery to
breach the batsman's defences in the final session and claim his 18th
wicket of the series.
Stokes then followed the trend of those who
preceded him, ensuring Root reached three figures and leaving England
with the luxury of contemplating a declaration at some point on the