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Battling Windies fight back at Lord's

RAMPANT: Kemar Roach (centre) was a menace to England's batsmen

FOURTEEN WICKETS fell at Lord’s today and unfortunately for West Indies supporters, ten of them belonged to their side.

A fascinating day’s play during the third and final Test between England and West Indies saw the men from the Caribbean fail with the bat but produce a creditable fightback with the ball.

At the close of play England remain favourites to win a series that stands at 1-1 but after the visitors’ shock win at Headingley who would be foolish enough to write them off?

West Indies reverted to their bad old ways as wickets tumbled after lunch during the third Test against England at Lord’s.
The tourists, 35-2 at lunch, went into the tea interval on 115 – 7 and in genuine danger of being out of the match on the first day.

The highly regarded Shai Hope was the first West Indian to trudge back to the pavilion when caught by Alastair Cook for 29 off the bowling of Toby Roland-Jones.

Hope, of whom so much is expected after his plethora of runs at Headingley, scored at a brisk pace while he was in the middle. The Bajan hit seven boundaries in his 57-ball innings.

The score was 78-3 when Hope departed and just five balls later - with no addition to their total - West Indies saw opener Kieran Powell out for a hard fought 39 when caught and bowled by Ben Stokes.

Jermaine Blackwood then compounded those two quick dismissals, when after a reckless shot, he had his wicket dismantled by the increasingly confident and accurate Roland-Jones.

At this stage Windies were five wickets down and in total disarray, and still short of 100, which was reminiscent of their capitulation when beaten inside three days during the opening Test at Edgbaston.

Things got no better when Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich were removed within moments by a fired up Stokes.
At this stage all-rounder Stokes had three wickets for just 11 runs with the rich promise of more.

West Indies went into the tea break having given themselves a mountain to climb after 51 disastrous overs.

There was no addition to the score when Stokes added Holder to his list of victims, the Windies leader comprehensively bowled by the ginger haired bowler.

Poor Devendra Bishoo, who had led a charmed life while at the crease, then became a rabbit in headlines as Anderson looked for one more victim to notch his 500 Test wicket.

Bishoo played and missed with regularity. Anderson – as he has been for many better batsmen – was just too good for the Guyanese left-hander.

Stokes then took his fifth wicket as Roach was snared by Anderson who took a full length catch at fourth slip. Stokes’ figures were impressive 5-22.

West Indies were put out of their misery the very next ball when Shannon Gabriel looked to slog Stokes but to no avail and he was bowled.

The mercurial Stokes ended the innings having bowled 14.3 overs, 6 maidens, taking 6 wickets for just 22 runs. It was a remarkable spell.

Windies had managed just 123 runs and were bowled out for less than 60 overs in four hours.

Rain, and an awful lot of it, appeared to be Windies’ only saviour at this point. However, in the third over of England’s reply with just one run on the board, Mark Stoneman was caught behind by wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich off Kemar Roach.

Roach was proving a menace. Having changed ends, this time bowling from the pavilion end, he had Alastair Cook, on 10, caught by Dowrich with the score on 15.

More drama was to take place during the next over. Tom Westley was lbw to Jason Holder in what looked like a dubious decision. The hosts were now 19-3.

Then came a bonus for the visitors. England captain Joe Root, a genuine class act, was caught impressively at first slip by Kieran Powell off the bowling of a rampant Holder.

Inclement weather, which threatens to severely affect the match over the next few days, saw a halt to proceedings with the hosts on 46-4 some 77 runs behind their guests.

If you’ve booked tickets for Sunday and Monday, at the rate wickets tumbled on the opening day, you might just have to find something else to do on those aforementioned days.

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