WI vs ENG 3rd Test: Joshua da Silva steers West Indies into narrow lead in Test decider
WI vs ENG 3rd Test: The unbeaten maiden Test half-century of Joshua da Silva on the second day of the third and final Test on Friday in the Caribbean anchored a West Indies lower-order revival, pushing the home team ahead of England.
In response to the tourists’ first-innings total of 204, da Silva’s unbeaten 54 and crucial contributions from Kyle Mayers, Alzarri Joseph, and Kemar Roach helped the home team recover from a 95-for-six position to a 232-for-eight position at stumps.
The West Indian version of tail-end fight saw 137 runs added for the loss of two wickets, which was not nearly as spectacular as the last-wicket stand of 90 between Saqib Mahmood and Jack Leach on day one, which resurrected the English from 114 for nine.
In stark contrast to the drab play that characterised the first two games, da Silva (54 not out) and Roach (25 not out) will be eager to prolong a ninth-wicket partnership that has already produced 55 runs and given the home team a 28-run advantage with two wickets in hand on the third morning.
With the ball, England’s Chris Woakes led the way, taking three wickets in the middle of the afternoon to spark a West Indies collapse that seemed doomed until da Silva joined Mayers.
The ninth-wicket pair were unaffected by the arrival of the second new ball half an hour before the end of play, producing partnerships of 33 with Mayers, 49 with Joseph (28) and the unbroken stand with Roach.
Da Silva’s half-century, his fourth in Test cricket, took more over three hours to complete. During which he faced 152 deliveries and smashed four fours.
Woakes, under pressure to prove his Test match value outside of England, used unsettling bounce in the post-lunch hour to dismiss Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder in the space of four deliveries before eliminating Jermaine Blackwood with a full-length delivery.
Joshua da Silva steers West Indies into narrow lead in Test decider
Da Silva entered the fray at 95 for six, and while Mayers (28) stole the show in their brief stand. Before falling to Ben Stokes, the wicketkeeper-batsman demonstrated the composure. And maturity that has become a trademark of his game. Since his Test debut in New Zealand at the end of 2020.
West Indies began their reply to England’s modest first-innings total. With a sparkling opening partnership of exactly 50 runs in the morning. But the tenor of the day altered abruptly when skipper Kraigg Brathwaite was dismissed by Stokes in the second hour.
After that, new batsman Shamarh Brooks dismissed by Saqib Mahmood.
England were in much better spirits when the other opener, John Campbell, went to the same bowler. Just before the half after surviving a gruelling examination from Craig Overton.
Brathwaite, who was virtually immovable in the previous encounter in Barbados. There he faced the most deliveries faced by a West Indies batsman in Test cricket. He appeared to be in a similar mindset as Campbell did the majority of the scoring at the other end.
However, he was stuck plumb leg-before for 17 out of 56 deliveries. And it needed a delivery from Stokes that barely got off the ground to get him out.
Campbell, who considered Overton to be his greatest struggle, eventually succumbed to the burly pacer, after Brooks’ quick demise.
The left-hander struck in the helmet twice, and while resuming his bat both times. He never appeared at ease against his opponent’s continued aggressiveness. Eventually gloving another lifting delivery down the leg-side for wicketkeeper Ben Foakes to grab the catch.