England complete series win and regain Wisden Trophy

England completed a series win against the West Indies at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

A crushing 269 run victory completed a turnaround from England who had to win the remaining two tests to win the series.

The victory gave the hosts a 2-1 series victory after suffering an opening defeat in the first game of the series.

Return of Root pivotal for England

After the West Indies completed a four-wicket victory at the Ageas Bowl England were in serious trouble. The return of Joe Root back at the helm in the second test seemed to galvanise the side.

England fought back to level the series with a 113-run win in the second test at Old Trafford. With everything to play for the home side completed victory to regain the Wisden Trophy.

England shuffle the pack to force vitory

With the West Indies just requiring a draw to retain the trophy, they won the toss and elected to bowl.

Jofra Archer returned back for the hosts with Jimmy Anderson also recalled. Sam Curran and Zak Crawley were both left out of the side. For the West Indies they decided to drop Alzarri Joseph for off spinner Rahkeem Cornwall.

England soon lost Dom Sibley to the fifth ball of the day for a duck. Just before lunch the hosts suffered another setback when Root was run out for 17. Despite this setback the home side finished a truncated opening day on 258-4 with Ollie Pope 91 and Jos Buttler 56.

On the second morning Pope went without adding to his overnight score. Buttler was dismissed for 67 with the West Indies having a fine opening hour by picking up four wickets.

Time for Broad to do his talking with the bat

With England slipping to 280-8 enter Stuart Broad. The Notts paceman smashed 62 off 45 balls in a partnership of 76 to power England to 369 all out.

Kemar Roach bowled beautifully for the visitors and was rewarded with 4-72.  The Barbadian also managed to pick up his 200th test wicket in the process.

West Indies reply started badly when Kragg Brathwaite went to the tenth ball of the innings for nought. By tea the visitors had moved on to 59-3 with wickets from Broad, Archer and Anderson.

First over after the restart Anderson had Shamar Brooks caught behind as the visitors struggled.

With bad light ending play early, West Indies were relieved to come off as they closed on 137-6.

It was Broad’s morning on the third day when he picked up the last four wickets to fall. The Notts quickie finished with excellent figures of 6-31 as West Indies were bowled out for 197.

With an overall lead of 172, England were after quick runs. Openers Rory Burns and Sibley got them of to the perfect start with a century opening stand. Sibley went to Jason Holder for 56 but England were in control.

Thanks to 90 from Burns and an unbeaten 68 from the captain, England declared on 226-2.

West Indies set stiff target for victory

The West Indies were set an imposing 399 to win and were soon in trouble. Broad removed John Cambell and night watchman Roach to leave the visitors in deep trouble.

The fourth days play was abandoned for the day after heavy rain made play impossible.

Would the Manchester weather thwart England?

On the final day England needed eight wickets to square the series. Brathwaite was trapped lbw off Broad to give him his 500th test wicket.

Enter Chris Woakes who produced a devastating spell of bowling to reduce the West Indies at lunch to 79-5.

Shortly after lunch the visitors were in even more trouble when Roston Chase was run out. Woakes then returned back to polish off the tail with three quick wickets.

It was fitting that it was down to Broad to pick up the final wicket as West Indies were bowled out for 129.

Since returning back to the side Broad has looked like a man on a mission. Claiming ten wickets in this test alongside an impressive second test performance has seen him back to his best.

England have to be praised for the way they produced some comeback after looking down and out in the first test.

Special praise also to the West Indies squad who travelled to the UK at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. They have been a joy to watch and deserve massive compliment for their courage and dignity.

They have played every test with a smile on their face. This squad have proved to have been a perfect advertisement for West Indian cricket.

But overall cricket has been the real winner in this gripping test series. Welcome back test cricket, boy we really have missed you so much.

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