TEST: ‘Rooted’ England bat all day to build huge lead

SUMMARY: England 277 (Stokes 79, Buttler 67, Roach 4-48, Gabriel 2-49, Paul 2-58, Joseph 2-61) and 325-4 (Root 111*, Denly 69, Buttler 56, Stokes 29*, Jennings 23, Paul 1-11, Roach 1-31, Joseph 1-63, Gabriel 1-87) lead West Indies 154 (Campbell 41, Dowrich 38, Wood 5-41, Moeen 4-36) by 448 runs

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Led by Joe Root’s 16th Test hundred, England batted all of day three to build an imposing lead against West Indies in the third and final Test in St. Lucia.

Resuming on 19-0, the Englishmen, looking to avoid a clean sweep after two thumping wins by West Indies, closed the day on 325-4, an overall lead of 448. With two days to play, England are firm favourites to end the series with a victory.

Jos Buttler made 56

Root led the visitors’ best batting display of the series, reaching his hundred with a boundary off Alzarri Joseph in the 94th over of the innings. Incidentally, it was the first hundred by an Englishman this series.

He expertly anchored the innings, finishing the day on 111 off 209 balls (9x4s).

After the openers, Rory Burns (10) and Keaton Jennings (23) went cheaply, it was down to the middle-order to build on England’s solid first innings lead of 123.

It was Root and Joe Denly, who started the repair job with a fantastic third wicket stand of 74. Denly made 69, his maiden Test fifty.

Joe Denly celebrates reaching his half-century (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images,)

Root and Jos Buttler then put together 107 for the fourth wicket to bat West Indies out of the contest, with the latter hitting a fluent 56.

Ben Stokes, who survived a fiery new ball spell from Shannon Gabriel, then joined the skipper and they put together an unbroken 71 for the fifth wicket. Stokes in not out on 29.

West Indies’ chances were not helped by the absence of the impressive Keemo Paul, who had to be stretchered off after picking up a quadriceps injury, chasing after a delivery to the boundary in just the fourth over of the day.

Read more about Paul’s injury: https://newsroom.gy/2019/02/11/paul-damages-right-quadriceps-in-futile-sprint/

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