Stuart Broad takes ten to mark 500th wicket with series victory

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Stuart Broad (Sky Sports photo)

England 369 (Pope 91, Butler 67, Burns 57) and 226 for 2 declared (Burns 90, Root 68*, Sibley 56) beat West Indies 197 (Broad 6-31) and 129 (Woakes 5-50, Broad 4-36) by 269 runs
England win series 2-1

It was all about one man.
Stuart Broad, in claiming his 500th Test wicket on the last day, sealed his dominance over West Indies in this third and final Test at Emirates Old Trafford and delivered England’s fight back from 0-1 down in the series to reclaim the Wisden Trophy 2-1.
Broad’s ten wickets for the match, not to mention his highly anticipated step into the 500 club, overshadowed Chris Woakes’ five-wicket haul. But Woakes’ contribution was no less important, given that England had to take eight wickets on a rain-affected last day to place their hands on the trophy, which will now be retired at Lord’s.
Broad’s 6 for 31 helped bowl West Indies out for 197 in response to England’s first-innings 369, to which he had contributed a valuable 62 from just 45 deliveries after a mini-collapse had left the hosts 280 for 8.
Rory Burns’ 90 plus half-centuries to Joe Root and Dom Sibley in England’s second innings pushed their lead to 398 runs and Broad then claimed the wickets of opener John Campbell and nightwatchman Kemar Roach late on the third day to put his side in command before Monday’s washout. In doing so, Broad spent from the close of play on Sunday until the final morning on Tuesday on 499 Test wickets.
Broad joined the 500 club – becoming the seventh man, and fourth seam bowler, in history to claim 500 Test wickets – after a brief rain interruption early in the first session when he had Kraigg Brathwaite out lbw with a ball that kept low and struck the back pad in line with off stump.
Incidentally, Brathwaite was the 500th Test wicket for James Anderson, the other England player on the list, at Lord’s in 2017. Anderson now has 589 and, before play, backed Broad, who is four years his junior, to “take as many wickets as he wants”.
Milestone achieved, Broad made way for Woakes to do his thing, but he returned to the attack to claim West Indies’ final wicket with his first ball back, Jermaine Blackwood caught down the leg side by Jos Buttler. Broad finished as the leading wicket-taker for the series with 16 from two Tests at an average of 10.93.
If the scriptwriters had handed Broad a blank sheet of paper and asked him to pen the episode himself, it’s unlikely he would have changed a thing down to the timing of the rain, which had caused minimal disruption through the final day but began to fall heavily within minutes of the close.
Woakes played his part beautifully as England’s “Mr Dependable” and, one suspects in light of his reputation as one of the nicest blokes in cricket, he probably didn’t begrudge Broad stealing the spotlight away from his fourth five-for in Tests.
Broad even had a hand in Woakes claiming his first scalp for the innings when Shai Hope skied his attempted pull and Broad ran in from mid-on to take the catch. Hope had reached his highest score of the series with 31 but with his side needing to bat out the day for the draw to retain the trophy, they needed much more.
There was still the potential for West Indies to hold on, with the likes of Shamarh Brooks, Blackwood, Roston Chase and Jason Holder in their line-up but it was going to take something special. Woakes negated the threat of Brooks, whom he had caught behind for 22.
The tourists underlined how not to bat long with the run-out of Chase. Blackwood pushed Woakes towards cover point and set off for a run as Dom Bess swooped from backward point and fired the ball in brilliantly to the striker’s end, catching Chase short of his ground.
Woakes then had Holder, Dowrich and Cornwall out, all lbw and all cheaply, before making way for Broad’s finale to dismiss Blackwood, whose 95 in West Indies’ first-Test victory remained their highest individual score of the series.
Broad missed that Test, much to his chagrin, but he responded beautifully with a new-ball spell of 3 for 1 in 14 balls that helped set up England’s series-levelling victory in the second Test. It was the kind of spell that leaves team-mates, including Anderson, in awe but it was just the beginning.
The third Test, the final installment of the Wisden Trophy – England and West Indies will contest the Richards-Botham Tropy next time they meet – was iconic in many ways. Two sides with it all to play for, behind closed doors in the first international cricket to be played since the Covid-19 lockdown. It was the first time in Test history that a side had come back to win a series from 1-0 down twice in a row following England’s triumph in South Africa earlier this year.
But ultimately, it was all about one man. (ESPNCricinfo)