England take 165-run lead, remove Smith

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Joe Root's unbeaten 182 was the fourth time he has gone past 150 in Tests
Joe Root’s unbeaten 182 was the fourth time he has gone past 150 in Tests

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Joe Root extended his innings past 150 – the fourth time he has done so from six Test centuries – as England were dismissed for 464 inside the first session. That gave them a considerable advantage of 165 and James Anderson then removed Devon Smith in his second over as England sought to put West Indies’ batsmen under pressure again.

With milky blue skies above the ground and the pitch remaining relatively intact, conditions for batting would have encouraged West Indies that they can again pick a path to safety. Smith became the latest player to deflect the ball on to his own stumps, attempting to leave a delivery from Anderson, but Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo ensured no further damage in the six overs before lunch.

England might have started the day hopeful of a total beyond 500 but, despite losing Jos Buttler early, Root took it upon himself to score the majority of the 77 added for the last three wickets. England have built a dominant position but time lost earlier in the match will impact on their chances of taking a 1-0 lead in the series.

They resumed six down and 74 runs ahead, with opportunity for Buttler to get the scorer’s pencil scratching furiously. He managed one boundary, thumping Devendra Bishoo down the ground, but fell to the leg spinner’s next ball, lured out of his crease and this time beaten by a delivery that dipped short of him and spun past the bat for a simple stumping.

That meant England had lost 4 for 58 at a time when they would have anticipated the cavalry at Nos. 6, 7 and 8 scattering the opposition bowling to all parts. Chris Jordan looked in more adhesive mood, helping to add 39 for the eighth wicket before being run out by Root’s enthusiasm. Root steered the ball to deep backward point and intimated he wanted a second; Jordan obliged only to be sent back. The decision required some careful consideration by the TV umpire, Billy Bowden, but seemed the right one.

Root, batting in long sleeves having finished the third day wearing a cap, was as positive as ever, sprinkling judicious boundaries among scampered ones and twos. He seems to be a source of renewable energy, the kind governments around the world are devoting technology and finance to discover; clean, too, apart from when he is chirping at the opposition from under a helmet at short leg.

When he had made 126, Root reached 2000 runs in Test, the second-youngest England batsman to do so behind Alastair Cook. Having gone past 150, and with just James Anderson for company, he struck Bishoo for sixes down the ground and over midwicket and was pushing on towards a second career double-hundred when a third run-out finished the innings. Anderson’s absent-minded failure to run his bat in left Root wondering what had occurred and swiping his bat in frustration. Cook may have been more content for his bowlers to have a crack before lunch. (Cricinfo)

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