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World Test Championship

Brathwaite, Dowrich half-centuries put Windies in dominant position despite Stokes four-for

Eng v WI, 1st Test, day three, report

West Indies' batsmen put the visitors in a strong position at the end of day three in Southampton, as they took a commanding 114-run first-innings lead.


Resuming from a good foundation of 57/1, Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope took the score into three figures before the first wicket of the day fell. Off-spinner Dom Bess found the outside edge of Hope's flashing drive with Ben Stokes completing a sharp catch at slip.

Brathwaite passed fifty, his 18th Test half-century, but soon after was trapped leg-before by a nip-backer from Ben Stokes. Despite the loss of Brathwaite, West Indies capitalised on some loose lines from the England bowlers to continue building the score. Shamarh Brooks looked fluent for his 39 when he feathered a catch behind off James Anderson.

Blackwood was Bess's second wicket, drilling a sweetly-timed shot straight into the hands of Anderson at mid-off for 12.

Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich combined for the biggest partnership of the match so far, adding 81 runs for the sixth wicket and carrying West Indies into the lead. Chase looked increasingly fluent at the crease but became Anderson's third victim of the innings, extra movement from the second new ball proving his downfall as he was dismissed LBW for 47 from 142 balls.

Soon after Chase's departure, Dowrich brought up his fifty with consecutive twos from the bowling of Stokes, before the same bowler sent Jason Holder on his way for just 5 – caught at fine leg off the top edge.

Alzarri Joseph had a short but entertaining stay at the crease, striking three boundaries before Stokes pegged back his off stump. That wicket was the England skipper's 150th in Tests, making him just the sixth player in history to complete the double of 4000 runs and 150 wickets in the longest format.

In his next over, Stokes added to his haul with the wicket of Dowrich, who batted well for his 61, to finish with 4/49. Mark Wood finished off the innings by uprooting Shannon Gabriel's middle stump with a yorker. Despite the late flurry of wickets, the visitors extended their lead to 114 as they were all out for 318.

England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley successfully negotiated a testing spell before stumps, taking the score to 15/0 by the close to keep the hosts' hopes of a fightback alive.

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