Brathwaite hits marathon 160, but England stretch lead to 136
SUMMARY: England 507-9 dec. (Joe Root 153, Ben Stokes 120, Dan Lawrence 91, Chris Woakes 41, Ben Foakes 33, Alex Lees 30; Veerasammy Permaul 3-126, Kemar Roach 2-68, Jayden Seales 1-55) and 40-0 (Zak Crawley 21*, Alex Lees 18*) lead West Indies 411 (Kraigg Brathwaite 160, Jermaine Blackwood 102, Shamarh Brooks 39, Joshua DaSilva 33*; Jack Leach 3-118, Saqib Mahmood 2-58, Ben Stokes 2-65, Dan Lawrence 1-8) by 136 runs
Report and Photography by Akeem Greene in Barbados
England hold all the cards heading into the final day of the second Apex Test at the Kensington Oval as they managed to extend their lead to 136, despite a gritty 160 by West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite.
The visitors bowled out West Indies for 411 and secured a 96-run lead. Left-arm spinner Jack Leach led the way with 3-118 from an astonishing 69.5 overs and got support from debutant Saqib Mahmood (2-58) and Ben Stokes (2-65) on another benign surface.
Though the surface is uninspiring for the bowlers, should England make a sporting declaration, it could add significant intrigue with the series still wide open, especially given the numerous batting collapse of the West Indies in recent years.
Zak Crawley and Alex Lees shepherded England to 40 without loss at the close.
Kemar Roach had a leg-before overturned on review when Crawley was just on two, but apart from starting the new ball with Veerasammy Permaul, hoping for bite and turn, it has been an uneventful second innings thus far.
The West Indies captain was the bedrock of the robust response in his 700-minute marathon innings, which lasted 489 balls, out of which, 401 were dots. He struck 17 fours.
It was his longest Test innings. His career-best 212 came from 447 balls against Bangladesh in 2014.
A day before, Brathwaite found a stable partner in Jermaine Blackwood but on Saturday, rain and England’s constant nick of wickets confronted him and it slowed their push to significantly reduce the lead.
He only added 51 to his overnight total, but those runs took 152 balls which blunted the English and took time out of the match.
Leach produced a top nut to dismiss Brathwaite – a delivery that beat the forward defensive and clipped the top of off-stump. It was ball that turned and bounced, pitched on middle and leg, and then fizzed through.
The skipper added 52 with nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph, who struck two fours and a six until he slashed Ben Stokes to second slip.
Two balls after lunch, a wild hack from Jason Holder gifted Mahmood his maiden Test wicket and England inched their way back to a firm grip.
Brathwaite and Joshua DaSilva, who was the last man dismissed for 33 had added 34 from 105 balls, as the tail was wrapped up without much damage to the lead.