England carry a lead of 244 into the third day of their first Test against West Indies and although some stubborn resistance late in the day prevented the tourists from tightening the screw, Alastair Cook’s men still look good value at 8/13 for victory.
The Windies will resume on 155/4 with the familiar face of Shivnarine Chanderpaul at the crease on 29, alongside Jermaine Blackwood, also established on 30.
The pair spent an attritional period of 29 overs adding only 56 runs to steady the ship from the capsizeable position of 99/4.
Although, Blackwood was given a life on 21 when he edged off the bowling of Ben Stokes, only for the replay to reveal the England all-rounder had overstepped the line on delivery.
That excruciating near miss let the hosts off the hook and meant Stokes remained the only England bowler of five not to have picked up a wicket on day two.
But the fact the Durham man came so close offers great encouragement that England’s attack do have it in their combined arsenal to claim the 16 remaining wickets required for the win over three days.
It could all hinge on early breakthroughs in the morning session, which has so far proved the most fruitful period for wickets in the match.
England were three down before lunch at the start of their innings and lost their remaining five wickets in a clump before lunch on day two, while the second new ball will also be due on Wednesday morning.
James Anderson has been the pick, closing to within two wickets of Ian Botham’s Test match record haul, and he and James Tredwell could yet have the biggest say on the positive outcome.
Tredwell showed excellent economy with figures of 1/22 from 15 overs and the spinner can only benefit from the dry Antigua track later in the Test match.
With the likes of Ian Bell and Joe Root in good nick, the runs shouldn’t be a problem from a side who really should have put on 450 from such a commanding position of 341/5 on day one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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