England effectively 10-8 after Mayers takes five
England are set for another humiliating defeat after enduring a wretched third day of the decisive third Test against West Indies in Grenada.
Having begun with hopes of pushing for victory themselves, the tourists were thwarted by the West Indies lower order before they collapsed in abject fashion in their second innings.
They ended the day 103-8, just 10 runs ahead of West Indies with two days to go.
Joshua da Silva reached his maiden Test century in the morning session, frustrating England with a stand of 52 with number 11 Jayden Seales before West Indies were finally dismissed for 297.
That gave the hosts a first-innings lead of 93 and in response England’s top order folded to 39-4 – captain Joe Root out for five and all-rounder Ben Stokes four.
Jonny Bairstow and opener Alex Lees offered some resistance with a dogged stand lasting 24.4 overs but when Bairstow was caught behind for 22, Ben Foakes followed in a calamitous run-out five balls later.
Lees made 31 before he was castled by Kyle Mayers – the seamer ending the day with remarkable figures of 5-9, his first five-wicket haul.
Hosts West Indies now look certain to complete victory, which would also see them take the series 1-0.
Another dark day for England
England’s winless run now looks set to stretch to nine Tests. They had dark days during their 4-0 Ashes defeat but this ranks among them, given West Indies are ranked eighth in the world Test rankings.
When play began West Indies led by only 28 and if England had taken the final two West Indies wickets quickly they would have hoped to set a challenging target.
Instead the bowling was toothless and tactics puzzling.
Then, on a pitch displaying some uneven bounce but on which West Indies lower order survived for more than two hours, England’s batting capitulated. As happened repeatedly in Australia they were not able to cope when the pressure was on.
Only Lees, who got a ball that kept low, was unfortunate. The rest of the batters were dismissed in disappointing fashion.
Root was one of those – he played a tired waft on five to be caught at slip off Mayers, the second time the medium-fast seamer has dismissed him in the Test. Root’s position as captain will now come under serious scrutiny.
England’s ‘red-ball reset’ looks to be heading to a fourth consecutive series defeat.
Mayers runs riot in another England collapse
At one stage it looked as though England would not make a fourth day.
Zak Crawley was the first to fall. He had already been dropped once and almost caught hitting over extra cover when he loosely drove for a third time and was caught at second slip from his 11th ball.
Root followed in the ninth over – his total of five runs across both innings is his lowest since 2015.
Mayers was not even picked for the first two Tests in this series but before long he had Dan Lawrence bowled for a duck when playing no shot and Stokes caught behind as he attempted to leave.
Lees and Bairstow showed the same calm, steady accumulation that had served Da Silva well earlier in the day. That was until Bairstow tried to swipe Alzarri Joseph off a length and was caught off an under edge.
The sight of Foakes coming up short diving through the dirt in attempt to make a unnecessary second run summed up England’s day.
Typically it was Mayers’ throw from the deep that caused the run-out. (BBC Sport)