The West Indies brains trust emerged on the third day of the second Test against England in Barbados. Captain Kraigg Bradwaite and vice captain Jermaine BLACKWOOD both scored hundreds as they shared a critical 183-run partnership.
The West Indies resumed at 71-1, with Brathwaite & Shamarh Brooks forming a solid partnership. England scored an early breakthrough in the first half-hour thanks to Jack Leach. Brooks was caught for 39 by Brooks, the spinner who found some encouragement on day 2. The batter, however, inexplicably sent a wide delivery straight at Chris Woakes at point.
Nkrumah Boner, who was awarded player of the match in Test one after a remarkable century, joined Brathwaite on the crease. He only managed nine runs, and Ben Stokes got him out lbw.
However, it was controversial. There was disagreement among pundits and fans over whether Bonner’s bat was struck before the ball touched the pad. The third umpire ruled that there was no evidence. Hawkeye proved the ball had touched the stumps, so Bonner was dismissed.
This was an important wicket for England, given Bonner’s performance in Antigua. England could have had another one soon. Stokes had an appeal against Blackwood rejected by the umpire in Stokes’ next over. England chose not to have a review.
But replays showed Hawkeye believing the ball would hit the leg stump. Blackwood would have been out for nothing if England was reviewed. Brathwaite was the West Indies vice-captain, and he made the most of it.
Both the pair fought hard and frustrated England as they slowly eroded their lead. England believed they had finally made it after Blackwood, who was now 65, beat Saqib Mahmood with a spectacular yorker.
Mahmood was unable to enjoy his joy as replays showed that he had stepped out of line, giving Blackwood another chance. The brief moment of joy England had for Mahmood was short-lived as the West Indies batters went about their business, while Brathwaite scored his tenth Test century.
Blackwood soon followed, and he reached his third Test win with a single against Leach. His luck ran out just before the end of play when he made an error and missed a delivery by Dan Lawrence, a part-timer, that hit him on his pad.
Blackwood was given out by the umpire for failing to win a review and Blackwood fell for 102. Alzarri Joseph, Nightwatchman, saw the last few overs and the West Indies finished the day at 288-4.
These are five points to remember from today’s play.
Bonner’s controversial dismissal
England was very proud of Bonner’s wicket. He clocked in at 493 runs across his two innings during the first Test. But it also caused controversy as replays appeared to show Bonner’s bat hitting the pad.
While Mark Butcher, commentator, acknowledged that it could have been a camera trick but BT Sport pundits Steven Finn and Carlos Brathwaite insisted Bonner should not have been out for review. Gregory Brathwaite, third umpire, felt that there was no evidence to support the claim that the ball hit the pad before hitting the bat. Bonner was therefore given out lbw.
“It looked as though the ball hit Bonner’s bat but that could be deemed as inconclusive,” Brathwaite said. “So does the fact it is inconclusive allow them to roll on or does it mean the benefit of the doubt goes to the batsman?
“There is sufficient evidence to suggest that there is an inside edge.” Finn then added: “The ball seems to be significantly off the outside edge. For me, it’s quite clear. “We probably shouldn’t need to go to ball tracking for that one.”
Brathwaite leads the way from the front
In Antigua the West Indies skipper looked in great form. He scored his fastest-ever Test fifty and then he continued in Barbados with an outstanding century. Brathwaite was much more relaxed in Barbados than he was in Antigua, which is something that fans are used to seeing more of.
His half-century was achieved in 167 deliveries, which is the slowest Test cricket run. After scoring his hundred, he scored 109 runs to help England reduce their lead to 219 runs.
“While we’ve focused on England’s bowling, perhaps we’ve deflected attention from Brathwaite’s typically dogged innings,”Jonathan Agnew, an ex-england bowler, told the BBC. “He’s gone quietly about his business, nothing flamboyant. He’s played well as the pitch is offering some challenges.”
After England’s errors, Blackwood makes a profit
After getting out of the game while trying to score a draw, he was subject to a lot of criticism. Blackwood showed that he had learned from his mistakes in the second Test and was able to fight hard for his hundred.
Brathwaite and the 30-year-old formed a strong partnership that frustrated England. The pair put on 183 runs for the fourth wicket. Blackwood took advantage of an England missed chance and made things so much better.
Stokes was denied an appeal for lbw early in his innings. England decided not to review the appeal, believing the ball would have been down the leg side. But replays showed Hawkeye’s ball hitting the stump, and Blackwood would be out for a duck if England had been reviewed.
“There is always a degree of trepidation with reviewing when it comes to the fielding side but they will regret that one, definitely,”Finn spoke to BT Sport. It was a regrettable decision that they made. Blackwood reached three figures following Mahmood’s second lifeline.
“Very pleased for Jermaine Blackwood with this 3rd test century,” tweeted former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop. “Bit of fortune but that’s ok. He has shown he can trust his defense and play the situation. Probed to many that he is not a one dimensional player.”
Mahmood loses his maiden Test wicket
Mahmood did not impress everyone, and despite his ability to get some reverse swing out of the old ball, he was still on the hunt for his first Test wicket. Mahmood did not quit trying and thought that he had captured Blackwood’s wicket in the final session.
Blackwood was outraged at the excellent yorker that Mahmood produced for 25 years. It clattered into Blackwood’s middle stump, and would have cost him 65. Replays revealed that Mahmood had bowled no balls and was therefore denied what would have been an amazing wicket.
Overstepping has led to him joining a growing number of England bowlers whose maiden Test wicket was taken from them. Stokes did this on his debut in the 2013 Ashes. Mason Crane (Mark Wood), Tom Curran, Mahmood, and Mason Crane have also done it since.
What should England have done with Parkinson?
Even though he only picked up one wicket on day 3, Leach was able extract some spin at times, leading to suggestions that England should have chosen a second spinner. Matt Parkinson is the other frontline spinner and boasts an impressive red-ball record and the ability generate great spin.
Parkinson has taken 102 wickets in first-class cricket at an average of 23.35. He also produced some stunning wickets last year with wild deliveries. Butcher, speaking on BT Sport, discussed whether Parkinson should be given his debut in this match and said that Michael Atherton, ex-England captain, had stated before the Test began that the leg spinner should have played.
David Lloyd, an ex-england coach, suggested the same thing after day two of his column. Daily Mail. “England have always been suspicious about leg-spinners,” Lloyd wrote. “Maybe captains don’t know how to employ them. But Matt Parkinson is well worth a go.
“I hear people say he can’t field and can’t bat. It is a lazy argument. I’d rather know what he can do — and that is spin the ball both ways. For the first Test, I would have chosen Parkinson.”
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