England vs West Indies: Stokes gets the job done
England claimed a final-day victory in the second Test match against the West Indies at Old Trafford, winning the match by 113 runs.
It was Ben Stokes leading from the front once more for England as the hosts levelled the three-match series at 1-1.
After losing the toss on the first morning, Windies captain Jason Holder invited England to bat first in what looked like tricky conditions. However, with Stokes and Dom Dibley both notching up patient centuries, Joe Root’s side were in complete control.
Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes put pay to the West Indies’ reply as they bagged three wickets apiece to bundle them out for 287, some 182 runs shy of England’s first innings total.
Despite losing all of day three to rain, England remained firm favourites to win the match, all that was truly against them was time. When the West Indies crept passed the follow-on mark on day four, it was left to England to score quick runs and insert the opposition once more.
In a change from the norm, out stepped Stokes, alongside Jos Buttler to open the second innings in search of a rapid start. After Buttler fell early the day fizzled out and England would return on the final morning.
Day five began with an over costing Kemar Roach 14 runs, including one huge six off the bat of the Durham all-rounder. Captain Root called a halt to the onslaught shortly before lunch with England 129-3, setting the West Indies 311 to win, but more poignantly, 89 overs to survive.
When the Windies slipped to 37-4 it looked as though everybody would be in their hotel rooms in time for tea. However, gutsy knocks from Shamarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood held England up. At one stage it seemed as though it may never happen until once again, Stokes prized out Blackwood.
The departure of Blackwood was shortly followed by Brooks and that was in truth the end of the resistance. The final wicket to fall was Roach, pushing a ball off Dom Bess straight at Ollie Pope with 15 overs left in the day.
Ben Stokes was duly named Man of the Match, another award to add to his mounting collection over what has been an outstanding rise to prominence in the last 18 months in particular.
The two teams will now remain in Manchester for the third and final Test which starts on Friday/ The series is perfectly poised at 1-1 with one to play and both teams will be confident of their chances of claiming the Wisden Trophy given what has happened in the two matches so far.