Stuart Broad’s fast half-century steadies the ship for England on second morning


Tailender Stuart Broad swung hard and often to reel off a 33-ball half-century as England posted 369 all out in the must-win third Test against the West Indies following a flurry of wickets on the second morning.

England resumed with a strong platform of 258 for four but were on their way to being hurried out after losing four for 18 in a brilliant spell of bowling from Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach.

At 280 for eight, and with overnight batsmen Ollie Pope (91) and Jos Buttler (67) gone, the hosts looked ready to subside until Broad enjoyed his highest score since 2013.

Coming in at number 10, the 34-year-old laid into the West Indian bowling, smashing nine fours and a six in a wonderfully entertaining knock of 62.

When he reached his 50 for the first time since the Boxing Day Ashes Test in Melbourne two-and-a-half years ago, he did so with such haste that only Sir Ian Botham has managed to do it more quickly. Broad is in good company at joint third on the list, sitting alongside Allan Lamb and Andrew Flintoff.

He eventually succumbed to a full toss from Roston Chase, pounded straight to the man at deep midwicket, but he had transformed the tone of the morning’s play.

The first hour belonged emphatically to the bowling side, with Gabriel and Roach serving up a storm with the second new ball.

Pope began needing just nine runs to reach his second Test century but had a brief and torrid stay, failing to add to his total despite the good fortune of being dropped by Rahkeem Cornwall at slip.

Gabriel did not let that disappointment bother him, returning to clatter the 22-year-old’s stumps at the very next attempt.

Chris Woakes came and went quickly, dragging Roach into his stumps to give the paceman his 200th wicket – the ninth West Indian to reach the mark and the first since Curtly Ambrose in 1994.

Jason Holder took a pair of sharp low catches to make it four wickets in just 24 deliveries, Buttler poking Gabriel and Jofra Archer beaten by Roach.

Broad signalled his intentions from the off, hooking Roach for six off his fourth ball then lifting Gabriel over cover. The introduction of Holder only accelerated things, with Broad blazing the all-rounder for seven boundaries in no time, including for three in a single over.

Broad’s fun eventually stopped when he pinged a poor ball to Jermaine Blackwood on the ropes, with a bruised Holder finishing things by dismissing James Anderson.