Ben Stokes Helps England Level Series
England have won the second Test against the West Indies by 113 runs. It was that man Ben Stokes once more who provided the inspiration. He helped England levelled the three-match series at 1-1 on day five at Old Trafford.
The final day began with fireworks from Ben Stokes. His assault helped garner rapid runs to give England enough time to bowl the visitors out. The first over the morning disappeared to all parts, costing 14 runs in total – befitting of a T20 as opposed to a Test match.
Joe Root eventually called in the troops with the score at 129-3, setting the Windies an unlikely target of 311 for victory. Ben Stokes walked off the ground after a swashbuckling 78* off just 57 balls, a stark contrast to the watchful century he produced in the first innings. A mark of the man’s ability to play the situation.
Stuart Broad Stars Again With The Ball
Why did England leave Stuart Broad out at the Ageas Bowl? He bowled beautifully in both innings at Old Trafford.
It did not take long for England’s bowlers to make the breakthrough. A last-second review was called by Root, convinced by an ever sure Stuart Broad that opener John Campbell had, in fact, got the faintest of edges. On this occasion Broad was correct and the hosts’ were into their work.
When the tourists slipped to 37-4 it seemed as if England were on a procession towards victory, perhaps even before tea. However, Shamarh Brooks accompanied by Jermaine Blackwood thwarted the attack and kept the scoreboard moving.
The partnership reached exactly 100 when Blackwood was bounced out, by you guessed it, Ben Stokes. England’s go-to man in times of need. When Brooks fell shortly after LBW to Sam Curran, survival was never truly on the cards for the Windies.
Dom Bess found spin in the pitch and bowled extremely well. It is likely that he may have shaded Jack Leach as England’s first-choice spinner for now. Both have good batting credentials. It will be interesting to see how Bess improves with more game time – with both the bat and the ball.
Holder Tries But Fails To Stop England
Captain and leader Jason Holder did his best to marshall the tail through to the close and overs ticked by steadily. However, when he fell for a well made 35, bowled by Dom Bess – the writing was on the wall.
It was Bess once more who claimed the final wicket. Kemar Roach pushed the ball straight into the waiting hands of Ollie Pope at short-leg. Pope could only parry, to begin with before a diving second attempt claimed the catch and with it the second Test.
Ben Stokes Easily Wins England MOTM
Man of the Match was undoubtedly Stokes, despite opposition from Broad who picked up invaluable wickets, particularly on the fourth afternoon. The Durham all-rounder, however, has shown every exceptional facet of his game in this match. With over 250 runs and three wickets to his name, there really was only ever one winner.
The #Raisethebatseries is now perfectly balanced due to England’s victory. The third test match starting on Friday promises to be an exciting spectacle. This game will also be played at Old Trafford. The series tied at 1-1, both teams have had their moments across both Tests and will feel they are in pole position to claim the Wisden Trophy.
The batting impressed from the West Indies in patches but they did not show enough concentration to draw the test match. In fact, Stuart Broad’s spell after tea on the fourth day signalled the beginning of the end. The West Indies had only lost 4 wickets up until then. However, they could not withstand the onslaught with the new ball. A collapse followed of 6-45, which helped England gain the momentum needed to win.
Well done to Ben Stokes and England.
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