England win second test to square series

England levelled the three match series against West Indies with a comprehensive 113 run victory at Old Trafford.

West Indies headed into the second test having won the opening test off the series at the Ageas Bowl.

Opening morning at Old Trafford

The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first. England left out Mark Wood and Jimmy Anderson, with Joe Denly as expected dropped in place of captain Joe Root.

It seemed a strange decision to discard Anderson from this test as it is his home ground. Stuart Broad returned back to the side with Chris Woakes and Sam Curran added to the side.

England suffered a setback hours before the match when Jofra Archer was excluded due to breaching bio-secure protocols.

The quick bowler drove back to his house instead of driving straight to Manchester from Southampton. He must isolate for seven days but is available for the final test after a disciplinary hearing.

Archer was also fined an unclosed sum and received a written warning about his misdemeanours.

On a slow pitch offering a small amount of turn England reached lunch on 29 for 1. Off-Spinner Roston Chase getting the wicket of Rory Burns on the stroke of lunch.

Immediately after lunch Chase struck again by removing Zac Crawley first ball, but England recovered to reach 81-3

The Stokes and Sibley Show

A quite magnificent fourth wicket partnership of 260 really put the hosts in control. The stand was dominated by a vigilant 120 from opener Dom Sibley and 176 from Ben Stokes.

With Jos Buttler making 40 and an unbeaten 31 from Dom Bess it allowed England to declare on 469-9.

Off-spinner Chase toiled away and eventually ended up with figures of 5-172.

West Indies had to face around an hours play at the end of the day and finished on 32-1. Sam Curran grabbing the wicket of John Campbell for 12.

As is the norm for Manchester heavy rain all day meant there was no play possible on day three.

Day four commenced with warm sunshine in Manchester with the visitors moving on to 118-2 at lunch.

A superb 75 from Kraigg Brathwaite pushed West Indies on to 227-4 at tea. England were looking for the new ball to reap dividends, and it did.

Broad took three wickets in only 14 deliveries including the wicket of Shamarh Brooks for 68. The Notts quickie was ably assisted by Woakes who bagged three wickets as the visitors lost six wickets for 45 runs.

The West Indies were eventually bowled out for 287, trailing England by 182 runs.

With England needing to win the test to keep the series alive they went for Plan B. Looking to get quick runs, the hosts opened with the pairing of Stokes and Buttler. Despite losing Buttler for a duck it was down to Stokes to lead the way once again for England.

This dynamic cricketer smashed 78 off 57 balls to set up an England declaration of 129-3.

England set up quick declaration

West Indies were set 312 to win in a minimum of 85 overs. England had to take ten wickets for victory. If the visitors could hold out for a draw, Wes Indies would retain the Wisden Trophy.

The reply started off badly as West Indies slumped to 23-3. After lunch Broad trapped Chase lbw to leave West Indies struggling. An excellent fifth wicket partnership of 100 gave then hope of surviving. On the stroke of tea England struck when Stokes removed Jermaine Blackwood for 55.

Wickets fell steadily throughout the afternoon with the visitors in desperate trouble on 161-7. Bess returned to grab two late wickets including the vital wicket of Jason Holder.

West Indies eventually were bowled out for 198 with less than an hour remaining.

It was inevitable that Stokes would get the man of the match award after his 78 and 176 along with three crucial wickets.

All to play for on Friday

So, it is all to play for on Friday with the series all square. The final test will once again be at Old Trafford and promises to be another superb match.

If England win, they will claim the Wisden Trophy. If West Indies get a victory or a draw, they will go back to the Caribbean with the Trophy in their hands.

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