Thursday 18 July 2019

Root leads way in third Test with century


Joe Root. Photo: Getty Images
Joe Root. Photo: Getty Images

Joe Root helped himself to an unbeaten century in St Lucia as England piled up a 448-run lead on day three of the third Test against the West Indies.

Root managed just 55 in his five previous innings on tour but ended the series on a high, closing day three unbeaten on 111.

England's innings of 325 for four was comfortably their best, and longest, of the tour and although there were more disappointments for openers Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings, a bright 69 from Joe Denly offered cause for cautious optimism.

Root's ton was his 16th in Test cricket - enough to put him level with Michael Atherton, Graham Thorpe and Herbert Sutcliffe - and his fifth overseas, a reminder that despite his recent wobble he remains the bedrock of England's batting.

With Windies seamer Keemo Paul injured inside the first 20 minutes and slow over-rates the issue of the day, the gentle spin of Roston Chase and Kraigg Brathwaite bowled 43 overs between them from which Root milked 56 of his runs.

Both batsmen Root and Jos Buttler brought up their half-centuries early in the evening. Root in 120 balls and Buttler in 10 fewer, but a brief delay when a beach ball emerged on the outfield suggested their important accumulation work was not keeping everyone's attention.

It took the new ball to part them. Roach nipped one in at Buttler but he misread the line entirely, playing inside and losing his off stump.

Alzarri Joseph helped Root to three figures, providing a full toss which the skipper gratefully punched to the ropes, while Ben Stokes was 29 not out at stumps.

Irish Independent

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