England: Jack Leach and Ben Stokes make inroads into Windies batting

England
Jack Leach

Jack Leach and Ben Stokes took a wicket each on the third morning in Barbados as England made steady progress in their attempt to establish a winning position in the second Test against the West Indies.

The tourists knew they would be facing an arduous time in the field after bat dominated ball throughout the first two days, but were hoping to find some fresh assistance from another unresponsive Caribbean pitch.

The West Indies resumed on 71 for one as they looked to move out of the long shadows of England’s 507, with Leach dismissing Shamarh Brooks and Stokes taking out Nkrumah Bonner.

England should have picked up another but declined to review Stokes’ unsuccessful lbw appeal against Jermaine Blackwood when he was hit clean in front of leg stump. Home skipper Kraigg Brathwaite was 44 not out at lunch, shepherding his side to 114 for three.

Jack Leach breaks through

With a weight of first-innings runs to play with, Joe Root tossed the ball to Leach first up and invited him to work away on an aggressive line with close catchers in place.

Leach was asking all the right questions with the gentle turn he was able to find but struck with a rare loose delivery.

Sensing a chance to score, Brooks leant back and sliced a catch to Chris Woakes at backward point, giving away a hard-working 39.

But with Brathwaite looking in assured touch and Bonner, last week’s player of the match, joining him England had a challenge on their hands.

Bonner had faced 493 balls for one dismissal in Antigua and swiftly took his tally past 500 before picking up the first boundaries of the day in the 14th over. Leach conceded both, straying down leg before offering up a half-volley, to end an otherwise searching spell.

Ben Stokes: Golden arm

That brought Stokes into the attack and he was elated to win a decision against Bonner, pogoing up and down in celebration.

He was made to wait for DRS confirmation and might have felt a touch fortunate that the third umpire ruled in his favour. UltraEdge appeared to raise the possibility of a concurrent inside edge but Nigel Duguid’s decision was allowed to stand.

Stokes would have picked up Blackwood for a duck had he referred another appeal against the new batter, but the bowler waved away his own shout without even discussing the matter with Root. Replays duly showed the ball taking out leg stump.

Debutants Matthew Fisher and Saqib Mahmood both bowled tidy spells but were unable to add to the wicket tally.

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