England remain in control in the Caribbean despite a testing day for the three lions in Antigua as West Indies closed on 155 for four, 244 runs behind England’s total of 399.
Shiv Chanderpaul and Jermaine Blackwood closed out the day on 29 and 30 respectively as the pair stood firm against some accurate bowling from England’s seamers including James Anderson on his quest to become his country’s leading wicket taker in Test cricket.
Anderson, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad and James Tredwell shared the wickets and Ben Stokes was centimetres away from joining them after taking the wicket of Blackwood off a no ball. The all-rounder was in great rhythm after ending his innings on 79 earlier in the day and he had the West Indian caught by Alastair Cook in the slips, only for it to be ruled out for a no ball.
That was the last chance of the day as Chanderpaul and the reprieved Blackwood saw out the final overs to leave them content at their day’s work which started with the ball as they impressed in the morning session.
The tourists collapsed from their overnight score of 341 for five to 399 all out with only Anderson and Jordan offering any resistance.
Stokes added eight more in the morning session before he edged Jerome Taylor to Jason Holder at gully to end an explosive innings of 79. Night watchman Tredwell then followed him back to the pavilion before Jos Buttler and Broad both failed to score.
However, a 38-run partnership from Anderson and Jordan helped England reach 399 with the Sussex pace man ending on 21 not out with four boundaries while the Test centurion enjoyed himself in scoring a quick fire 20 before looping the ball to cover to end the England innings.
ANDERSON CLOSES IN
A tricky 10 minutes before lunch then followed for the West Indies openers which both Kraigg Brathwaite and Devon Smith survived despite the best efforts of Anderson and Broad.
It took England just five overs after lunch to strike and it was the man of the moment Anderson who struck to remove Smith for 11, Buttler taking the catch behind the stumps. The Lancashire keeper ended the day with three victims as he finished the job to remove Darren Bravo off the bowling of the impressive Jordan and then Marlon Samuels to hand Broad a wicket.
However, the moment of the day in the field was still to come with Jordan taking a wonderful catch low to his right at first slip which gave Tredwell his first dismissal in Test cricket in five years. The Kent spinner turned the ball away from the right-handed Brathwaite and Jordan showed off his sublime reactions as the ball nestled inside his right hand.
CHANDERPAUL KEY WICKET
With the ever dependable Chanderpaul still at the crease England know they have plenty of work to do on a crucial third day at the Sir Vivian Richard’s Stadium which will more than likely define the outcome of the opening Test.
Wednesday could also be a momentous day for Anderson who only needs two wickets to go level with Sir Ian Botham’s record of 383 Test Match wickets.