Monday, 11 February 2019

ST. Lucia - Day Three

Monday, back to work.  I haven't taken the radio in because Talksport's coverage, say no more...  Instead I'm following the match on Cricinfo via the phone and a sneaky look at the BBC website.  This isn't ideal but at least I know what's going on.  By the time I tune in Burns is out, to the first ball of the day!  The bowler is Paul but he soon pulls up with a torn muscle and West Indies will be a bowler light for the rest of the session.  Jennings and Denly consolidate and the partnership passes fifty before Keaton manages to find a way to play on... 72/3 at least the top three have done there job in this innings at least.

I get home and park my arse in the armchair in time for the afternoon session with Root and Denly together.  Gabriel is bowling fast but is spraying it a bit and the runs are flowing.  Denly is looking good, he actually seems comfortable and makes his first test fifty.  Root is crawling along but looks solid.  The partnership passes fifty, Denly is keen to cut but edges Gabriel behind and he's out for 69.  This is a shame as it looks like a ton was there for the taking.  This brings Buttler to the wicket and he too looks in no trouble.  Running up to the break WI are bowling two spinners and I have a feeling England could push on but they don't.  At tea both batsmen are set and the lead is way past 300.

Dinner here is a spicy chicken curry, there is no spice in the depleted West Indies attack and both batsmen cruise past fifty, the partnership tops 100, a rare thing lately.  The new ball brings a great period of cricket with Roach and Gabriel bowling well, Buttler gets an unplayable delivery from Kemar and is gone, bowled for 56.  Stokes comes to the wicket to resume his series long battle with Gabriel, it's great to watch, there is banter but no nastiness.  These two batsmen survive the tricky new ball spell and push on, Root passes 100, his 16th century which has looked inevitable for some time.  At the close both are unbeaten with Stokes on 29 and we have another fifty plus partnership, the score is 325/4 and the lead 448.

It's been a strange day of cricket in as much as it's been a normal day of cricket.  Yesterday a balanced bowling attack with added bite skittled WI and today a more solid looking batting line up has ground West Indies into the sandy turf.  It's been enjoyable, relaxing cricket because for a change England have dominated.  We now need to push on and make sure we win this test match, from here I can't see any other result.

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