England vs West Indies: Hosts find unlikely batting hero in Stuart Broad

AFP
Stuart Broad raises his bat upon reaching his 50.

Stuart Broad came to England's rescue on the second day of the third and final Test against the West Indies on Saturday, smashing a breezy half century following a middle-order collapse.

England resumed on 258-4 in their first innings but lost four wickets for 18 runs to collapse to 280-8.

But veteran paceman Broad, on a ground where he was hit on the face by a bouncer from India’s Varun Aaron six years ago, hit back with a punishing 62.

At lunch, England had been dismissed for 369 in the concluding match of a three-Test series, currently all square at 1-1, that marks international cricket’s return from the coronavirus lockdown.

England’s slump against a new ball well deployed by Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel started when Ollie Pope failed to add to his overnight 91.

England then lost Jos Buttler for 67. On Friday, the wicketkeeper had completed his first Test fifty in 14 innings to help England regain the initiative.

Pope should have been out even earlier on Saturday when he edged a good-length ball from Gabriel but Rahkeem Cornwall, who held a brilliant slip catch to dismiss Rory Burns on Friday, dropped a routine chance.

Gabriel continued to charge in and, in his next over, clean bowled Pope, aiming legside to a straight delivery to end a fifth-wicket partnership of 140.

Pope’s 150-ball innings, included 11 fours, with the 22-year-old Surrey batsman still waiting for a second century in 10 career Tests following his 135 not out against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in January.

New batsman Chris Woakes promptly played on to give Roach, who eventually had innings figures of 4-72, his 200th Test wicket.

Buttler was well caught low down at second slip by West Indies captain Jason Holder who in the net over took another good catch to get rid of Jofra Archer.

But left-handed batsman Broad, whose Test-best score of 169 against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010 is higher than any managed by his father Chris, the former England opener, counter-attacked.

He pulled Roach for six and cut Holder, who had sent England in to bat on Friday, for four as the new ball started to soften.

Broad completed a 33-ball fifty with his eighth four, a pull off Holder before hitting a full-toss from occasional off-spinner Roston Chase straight to deep midwicket after dominating a ninth-wicket stand of 76 with Dom Bess.

England vs West Indies: Hosts find unlikely batting hero in Stuart Broad