Stokes swings in after Anderson moves to 499


Tea: West Indies 119 for 7 (Holder 9*, Bishoo 9*) v England

Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

An immaculate display of swing bowling put England in charge of the third Investec Test at Lord’s. But while James Anderson had led the way, it was Ben Stokes who ripped the guts out of West Indies’ innings with a three-wickets burst during the afternoon.

Only Kieran Powell and Shai Hope made it into the 20s as Jason Holder’s decision to bat after winning the toss was made to look both brave and foolhardy. West Indies already had plenty to contend with in the series decider, thanks to persistent cloud cover, a rain delay and one of the most prolific fast bowlers in history. Stokes’ mesmeric spell, on top of all that, was enough to banish the optimism of Headingley.

Ben Stokes

At an autumnal Lord’s, England’s evergreen attack leader, Anderson, moved to the brink of 500 Test wickets before Toby Roland-Jones justified his recall with two wickets, which included that of Hope, double-centurion a week ago, for 29. Then Stokes took centre stage.

While Powell and Hope were together, adding 56 during a phlegmatic third-wicket stand, West Indies could perhaps envision a plentiful afternoon stretching out ahead on the fertile batting plain that is Lord’s. With the lights on, however, and conditions remaining conducive to bowling, England were able to induce some of the jitters that undermined the tourists so badly in the first Test at Edgbaston.

Stokes’ introduction provided the warning ripple. Generating lavish swing worthy of big-band accompaniment, Stokes unsettled Powell from the Nursery End, while Roland-Jones probed away with more subtle deviations off the pitch, finally removing Hope with a ball that shimmied and jumped from a length to be taken by Alastair Cook at slip. After dropping his third consecutive catch earlier in the morning, it was a moment of relief as well as celebration for Cook.

Having progressed to his highest score of the series, Powell then poked a return catch to Stokes as he tried to adjust late to another curving delivery. It was ill-judged on more than one count, as his dismissal further exposed West Indies’ middle order, with England sniffing retribution for their humbling at Headingley.

Powell had at least made some runs (plural), which could not be said of Jermaine Blackwood, who had a single to his name when he tried to hit Roland-Jones into pavilion and was bowled by a ball nipping back in.

From 87 for 5, West Indies stuttered into three figures before Stokes ripped out two more in an over. Lord’s is a ground partial to a bit of showmanship and Stokes’ delivery to Roston Chase – curling away late the kiss the top of off stump – was worthy of the high-hat and cymbals. He followed up two balls later with another pearler to have Shane Dowrich scooped up low by Cook, a double-intervention that brought a roar from the crowd reminiscent of when dismissed Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum on this ground 2015.

It was left to Holder and Devendra Bishoo to ride their luck to the interval. Bishoo twice edged boundaries – wide of slip against Moeen Ali, past his stumps to Stokes – while Holder was dropped by Joe Root on 5, denying Stokes a fourth wicket with tea imminent.

West Indies’ first obstacle was Anderson, who quickly claimed two of the three wickets he needed before play began to become the sixth man to 500 in Tests. In a searching 12-over spell from England’s new-ball pair, West Indies lost Kraigg Brathwaite, another of the heroes of Headingley, to a catch at the wicket before a heavy downpour sent the teams off for more than half an hour.

On a slowish surface, Anderson and Stuart Broad regularly beat the outside edge, a trial of patience that Kyle Hope was ultimately unequipped for as he also tickled behind attempting to leave after the resumption. Shai Hope responded on behalf of his brother by striking his first and third deliveries from Anderson for four, hinting at the form which helped level the series in Leeds.

The first September Test to be held at Lord’s was greeted by a cool morning with plenty of low cloud and Root may not have been too despondent at telling his senior quicks they were bowling. Powell scored the only boundary in the first 50 minutes, before rain swept in, steering a thick edge down and wide of the slips, before moving into double-figures with a more confident stab through midwicket, also off Broad.

Anderson should have removed Brathwaite on 3, when he steered a regulation edge to Cook at first slip – only for Cook to drop the simplest of catches. It was a continuation of the malaise that afflicted both sides at Headingley, and where Cook dropped two on the final day. Anderson’s frustration was palpable.

He had No. 498 a few overs later, however. Brathwaite was dragged forward and into an area where his decision-making became as cloudy as the skies above – perhaps fearful that the ball would run in at him down the slope – and he only succeeded in feathering through to his new Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow with an angled bat as the ball straightened off the pitch.

Bairstow then took a fine diving catch to remove Hope for a duck – his second in five Test innings – as Anderson again shaped the ball away from the Pavilion End.

Broad’s search for rhythm (and wickets) has been a theme of the Test summer but he initially bowled well without reward. One delivery, left alone by Powell, passed straight over the stumps after seaming back in, while he was given five slips at one point to Brathwaite. He had to leave the field during the afternoon, however, to receive treatment on a sore left heel. (ESPNCricinfo)


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