Stuart’s 6 Wickets

Again it was Stuart Broad’s day at Emirates Old Trafford. Yesterday, it was his 62 crucial runs that gave back control of the third Test to England. Today, Stuart’s 6 wickets brought a test win and series victory over the West Indies within touching distance.

West Indies resumed on 137-6. During the first hour Holder and Dowrich rode out the flurry of short-pitched bowling. Before the start of play, wise-heads discussed the merits of England forcing the follow-on. Holder and Dowrich took the score to 178 ensuring such discussions amounted to a theoretical position without practical application.

England required a breakthrough. Captain Joe Root turned to Stuart Broad to question the batters technique and mental resolve.

The previous evening Stuart had taken 2-17.  Dramatically, he was soon adding yet more wickets to his tally. The breakthrough came in the form of beautiful, destructive, bowling. With a sudden finality, Stuart took the remaining 4 wickets in 4 overs. The West Indies crumbling to 197 all-out. Stuart finishing with 6-31 off 14 overs, his second best figures after taking 8-15 vs. Australia in 2015.

There may be trouble ahead, if the Manchester weather has its way tomorrow. Probable disruptive weather, made a commanding second innings lead for England imperative. This they did, Rory Burns (90) and Dom Sibley (56) adding 114 for the first wicket – this was the first 100 partnership by England openers, at home, since 2016.

During the afternoon session, commentators had asked the England batters to “get a wiggle on.” The wiggle was provide by Joe Root, who made 68no (8 fours, 1 six) off 56 balls. Joe’s quick scoring allowing England to declare on 226-2 after the loss of Burns’ wicket.

Setting what should be an unachievable 399 runs to win, the West Indies second innings got off to the worst possible start. Stuart was again giving the batters a dreadful time, taking the wickets of opener John Campbell (0) then nightwatchman Kemar Roach (4). At close West Indies were 10-2

Stuart now has 499 test match wickets. All England supporters will be hoping he takes at least one more wicket in the remaining two days to claim 500 test wickets in his career.

(PhoenixMedia Image Created from a Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)