Brilliant Stuart Broad nears milestone as he puts England in sight of victory
Broad hounded the tourists out for 197 in the morning, taking all four remaining wickets to complete a superb haul of six for 31 and returned to take another two, ramming home his side’s advantage and moving to 499 scalps.
Just six other bowlers in history have reached that milestone, including Broad’s long-time partner James Anderson, and when he gets over the line he can lay fair claim to a place among the greats.
In between his two bursts England made 226 for two declared, Rory Burns making 90 while Dom Sibley and Joe Root topped up their accounts with half-centuries.
With the West Indies ten for two chasing 399 England would typically expect to coast to victory, and Broad to be celebrating his milestone at some point on Monday morning, but the situation is complicated by a worrying weather forecast on day four.
With that in mind the hosts may have been keen to enforce the follow-on, but they lost that chance in the first 45 minutes of play after Broad’s introduction to the attack was delayed.
All eyes were on the 33 runs needed to make England bat again and they arrived in short order, Jason Holder and Shane Dowrich milking 37 off eight overs as Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes failed to justify Root’s decision to keep Broad and Anderson waiting.
As soon as Broad did get his chance he changed the landscape instantly, taking all four remaining wickets for 14 in an immaculate four-over spell. Holder and Rahkeem Cornwall fell in entirely familiar fashion, rapped on the pads and given lbw.
Having established the method on the second evening, Broad had no reason to abandon it now. Kemar Roach followed, nicking to slip as Broad completed a double-wicket maiden and a five-for. He has now done so 18 times, overtaking Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood and Graeme Swann to go fourth among Englishmen. Shane Dowrich was next, the latest victim of Broad’s unerring examination but not the last.
Sibley and Burns then added ten to England’s tally in a 20-minute burst before lunch before batting through a soporific afternoon session as they added another 76.
The evening session saw England up the ante, with both batsmen reaching 50.
Sibley was first across the line but Burns took ten fewer balls, getting there in 111. The Warwickshire man was unable to go on, lbw to Holder for 56 immediately after surviving a very close shout, but Burns located another gear. Having scored 38 from his first 100 balls, he added another 52 in 63 balls in the evening.
Root, meanwhile, was crashing the ball around at will before Burns top-edged Roston Chase behind and the declaration was made.
That left six overs to cash in on the opposition’s fading morale and Broad continued his sparkling form by pocketing another two batsmen. John Campbell became No 498 when he pushed the seamer’s third ball to first slip and nightwatchman Roach made himself 499 with a feather through to Jos Buttler.
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