Broad, Anderson put England in command

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Stuart Broad and James Anderson once again showed their enduring class as England took a huge step towards winning the series on day two of the third Test against West Indies.

The veteran pace bowlers, who have each been left out for one match in the series, took two wickets apiece, while Broad weighed in with valuable runs.

With Jofra Archer also bowling at high pace, West Indies were 137-6, 232 behind, when bad light ended play half an hour early.

The tourists had earlier made an explosive start, taking four wickets for 18 runs, including Ollie Pope without adding to his overnight 91 and Jos Buttler for 67.

But Broad reversed the momentum by crashing a 33-ball half-century – only Ian Botham has made a quicker fifty for England in Tests.

His 62 from 45 balls is his highest score for seven years and lifted England to 369 all out. Their progress on a day when expected rain never arrived could negate further bad weather which is due over the rest of the match.

They are primed to regain the Wisden Trophy, protect a six-year unbeaten home record and deny West Indies a first win in England since 1988.

Old firm swing it England’s way

So much attention in this series has focused on the home pace attack, with Anderson and Broad, England’s all-time leading wicket-takers, stating their case for inclusion after being left out.

In being paired together in a Test for the first time since January, they backed up their words with a characteristic display in conditions ideally suited to them.

In doing so, they gave England firm control of a series decider on a day that began with the threat of West Indies fighting their way back into the contest.

With England resuming on 258-4, the rejuvenated West Indies were inspired in the first hour, particularly the pace pair of Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach.

However, the tourists were flattened first by Broad’s onslaught, then by the collective threat of England’s four pace bowlers – off-spinner Dom Bess did not bowl a single over.

By the end, a series that has been so keenly contested looked to have only one winner, with England’s biggest opponent now the Manchester weather.

Stuart Broad of England plays a shot for six during Day Two of the Ruth Strauss Foundation Test, the Third Test in the #RaiseTheBat Series match between England and the West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford on July 25, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Broad’s blistering assault

England were in danger of wasting their good first day when Broad came to the crease.

Pope was bowled playing across the line to Gabriel and Buttler was well caught at second slip by Jason Holder, while Chris Woakes chopped on off Roach and Archer was also held by Holder.

Broad countered with swipes, carves, flowing drives and one almighty heave over the leg side for six.

When his ninth-wicket stand with Bess passed 50, Bess had contributed only eight. Broad’s 62 is the highest score by an England number 10 since 1966.

The fun was eventually ended when Broad swept the off-spin of Roston Chase into the hands of deep mid-wicket.

And though, overall, England lost their last six wickets for 107 runs, Broad ensured they maintained a position of strength. (BBC Sport)

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