|Third Investec Test, Lord’s, day two|
|West Indies 123 & 93-3|
|England 194: Stokes 60, Roach 5-72|
|West Indies lead by 22 runs|
England’s deciding Test match against West Indies remains delicately poised after the tourists ended day two at Lord’s on 93-3, a lead of 22 runs.
On a day when James Anderson reached 500 Test wickets, the morning session was reduced to 4.2 overs by rain.
Ben Stokes, dropped on 24, made 60 and Stuart Broad hit two sixes in a cameo 38 as England, who were 24-4 on Thursday, made 194 for a lead of 71.
Anderson struck in the third over and dismissed Kieran Powell (45) late on.
Anderson, in his 129th Test, is the first England bowler – and only the third seamer – to have reached 500. Just five men, all of whom have retired, have taken more in 140 years of Test cricket.
The composed Shai Hope, who now has 329 runs in the series, finished the day on 35 as West Indies target their first Test series win in England since 1988, when their bowling attack featured Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose.
England profit from fielding blemishes
West Indies took the wicket of Dawid Malan in the short period of play possible during the morning, the left-hander caught behind off the persevering Kemar Roach for 20.
But, after the long rain delay, the tourists gave Stokes a reprieve when Kyle Hope could not hang on to a sharp edge diving to his left at second slip, with the score 65-5.
It would have been a straightforward catch to third slip, but the Windies had only two stationed there for the England all-rounder.
Stokes, who produced his Test best bowling figures of 6-22 on day one, gave further evidence of his maturity as a batsman to reach his 12th Test fifty, a perfect blend of attack and defence including 10 fours and 10 singles.
He was bowled through the gate by a Shannon Gabriel no-ball – one of six the burly paceman sent down. Gabriel managed to atone two deliveries later with an almost identical, but legal, delivery.
Toby Roland-Jones was later spilled by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich on 11 and, though he only added two more, the fielding side looked deflated.
Their mood was not improved by the defiance of Broad, who adopted a cavalier attitude with some remarkable, unorthodox shots to help add 60 for the final two wickets.
Imperious Anderson reaches milestone
With England all out, the stage was set for Anderson.
The conditions were not as favourable as in the murky evening of the first day, but the 35-year-old Lancastrian produced a classic inswinger in the third over to rattle back Kraigg Brathwaite’s middle pole.
Powell was missed early in his innings by Stokes off Broad, but the latter soon dismissed Kyle Hope, who has made only four runs in his past four Test innings.
Hope unsuccessfully reviewed the decision – his day summed up by the replay showing it had ticked all three boxes in the appeal process.
Clouds increased under the floodlights but Stokes was initially unable to find the same elaborate swing that had bamboozled the tourists 24 hours earlier.
And with Powell and Headingley double centurion Shai Hope looking comfortable, the Windies calmly erased England’s advantage.
But Anderson struck again in dramatic evening light with a delivery that swung in to left-hander Powell to pitch on middle stump and seam away to clip the off bail.
With a rainbow visible in charcoal-coloured clouds over the Mound Stand, Stokes jagged one in sharply to the pads of key man Hope, and England gambled unsuccessfully on a review.
They used up their final review to question an lbw appeal against Roston Chase from Anderson, who was warned twice for running on the wicket and is one away from being barred from bowling for the rest of the match.
‘England just favourites’ – what they said
Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “If you ask me who will win this game, I’d say England. We go into day three with England just favourites – they’ve got their noses in front.
“It’s games like this when you look for a player to put their hand up. If someone gets a hundred for West Indies and if they can get England to chase about 160 it’s going to be tough for them. Conditions may get a little easier for the batsmen but the bowlers will continue to dominate.”
Former England spinner Phil Tufnell: “West Indies have done very well. Another box ticked by Shai Hope – he weathered the storm – but well played England as well, getting the lead when that looked improbable. I can’t wait to be back here tomorrow – anything can happen.”
James Anderson on reaching 500 Test wickets: “The spotlight doesn’t sit comfortably. I just love playing cricket. It’s been my biggest passion since I was a kid.
“I’m just trying to stay fit and on the field. I feel fit. If I keep going for another couple of years I might get near to Glenn McGrath [who has 563].”
Stats of the day
- This is the first time Stokes has taken five wickets and scored a fifty in the same match
- 317 is the fifth lowest aggregate of two first-innings totals at Lord’s