England bowled out West Indies with ease to win the third Test at the Old Trafford by 269 runs and the series by 2-1.
The play being stopped due to rain, the Hover Cover being pulled, the Windies batsmen jogging towards the pavilion and Joe Root and his Men, with hands in the pockets, ambling reluctantly out of the ground, was a regular sight on day 5. Though the play was stopped thrice, the home team managed to take the remaining eight wickets on the final day.
Neither did the visitors bat to chase the target of 399 nor did they give a feeling that they were playing for a draw. They just crumbled. They came back every time play resumed but only to give away wickets.
After a washout yesterday, the final day resumed with West Indies at 10 for 2. As per the forecast, the rain did affect play in the first session when two short spells of showers stopped play. Firstly, when the overnight batsmen, Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite, added 25 runs, and secondly when the score stood at 84 for 5. It resulted in the umpires signalling an early lunch.
Earlier, Stuart Broad trapped Brathwaite low on the back leg and a loud appeal saw umpire Michael Gough’s index figure go up. With this dismissal, he became the fourth pacer in Test cricket history to take 500 Test wickets! His 320th in England! It is a strange coincidence that – his partner – James Anderson’s 500th victim was the same batsmen. Is that why Anderson had a quick word with Broad just before the prized wicket? Probably, a tip to get into the 500-wicket club.
Chris Woakes was introduced from the other end and wickets fell when he bowled. Hope ballooned a catch to Broad at mid-on and Shamrah Brooks inside-edged an incoming ball to Jos Buttler. Both the batsmen fell cheaply. Soon, Roston Chase was run out by Dom Bess, who was quick to pick up, turn, and hit the stumps directly. The score was 87 for 6.
The rain intervened and play resumed soon. From here the tourists perished in no time. Jason Holder tried to flick but missed the ball and though he reviewed the lbw decision, it went in vain. Shane Dowrich followed suit, and again Rahkeem Cornwall was hit on the pads. Woakes returned a five-wicket haul in 11 overs. He kept the ball full and straight, all through the day, without experimenting.
It was curtains in the 37th over, when Jermaine Blackwood gloved a short-pitched ball off Broad to Buttler, who flung himself to his left to complete the catch. West Indies were all-out for 129.
Broad, for his all-round performance, won the Man of the Match and the Man of the Series award, which he shared with Chase. The pacer, who was ‘angry, frustrated and gutted’ on being dropped from the first Test, had the last laugh in the first international cricket series played without spectators.
Brief Scores: West Indies: 129-10, Target 399 ( Shai Hope 31, Jermaine Blackwood 23, Chris Woakes 50/5, Stuart Broad 36/4 | England beat West Indies by 269 runs.