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ENG v WI, 2nd Test, 2nd day review: West Indies aim a huge first innings lead, agony for the hosts

It was the Caribbean music that made the noise on the second day, silencing the English crowd.

Shai Hope
West Indies batsman Shai Hope. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Talk about sensational turnarounds, this has to stand right up there amongst the best. West Indies have taken complete command over the second Test after Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite smashed terrific hundreds against the run of play. English stalwart James Anderson picked a couple of early wickets, but it was the Caribbean music that made the noise, silencing the English crowd.

Night watchman Devendra Bishoo’s struggle lasted for 33 balls and Anderson decided to end his trauma by sending him back. A beautiful out-swinging delivery from the 35-year-old got the better of Kyle Hope and Windies were 3 down for 35. Just when the fans thought the visitors would falter yet again, Shai Hope and Brathwaite showed magical resilience and grit.

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Every English bowler tried his level best to get rid of either of these players, but they mixed caution brilliantly with aggression and scored runs whenever there was an opportunity. Brathwaite played some handsome shots through the offside and Hope was not backing away from scoring quick runs.

A fact that both these gentlemen were able to withstand the pressure and the high-quality bowling simply amazed people. England did everything they could but skipper Joe Root was helpless as a batting master class was on display and there was no place hide for the bowlers. Brathwaite got to his fifty with a thunderous six over midwicket and with a boundary through mid-off, Shai Hope completed his fifty.

A partnership worth a standing ovation

Soon after they got to their half-centuries, the duo completed a hundred run stand with a flick off the pads from Hope for a boundary. England went up for an optimistic review to try and snatch a wicket out of the blue, but that never happened as the third umpire found no evidence to overrule the on field decision, which was not out. Moeen Ali felt there was an inside edge off Hope’s bat, but the ball had hit the thigh pad before landing in the hands of second slips.

It seemed as though the English bowlers were kept under a hostage as everything they tried went wrong and worked wonders in the visitors’ favor. Hope went hard after Moeen Ali and Stokes in specific as he managed to grab a lot of boundaries whilst they were on. The scoring rate kept escalating and the body language of the English bowlers was palpably negative.

Then came the moment Brathwaite must’ve dreamt about for a long period of time. He finally reached three figures and yet again, he got to the milestone with a six off Moeen Ali. He danced down the ground and thumped the ball over long on. It was his 6th Test match hundred and got a great sportive ovation from the Headingley crowd.

Hope entered the nineties in the next over with a boundary off Stokes and he took his time to get to his 100. With a tuck towards the fine-leg for a single, he registered his first century in Test cricket and it was a moment to savor for the youngster.

Two quick wickets towards the end

Brathwaite went all guns blazing after his century and he was a tad lucky on occasions. But the fortune didn’t last for eternity as Broad cleaned up Brathwaite’s stumps, which brought an end to one of the most breathtaking innings played by a foreigner on English soil. He scored 134 off 249 balls, which included 17 fours and 2 sixes.

In came Roston Chase, who didn’t trouble the scorers much and gave his wicket away to Stokes. The all-rounder finally got a good reward after a hard day’s play. Jermaine Blackwood, who played a gem of a knock in the first Test, got off to a blazing start towards the end of the day’s play. He and Hope took full advantage of the tired legs of the bowlers and spanked quite a lot boundaries.

Windies finished day 2 in complete command, scoring 329 for the loss of five wickets. Shai Hope remained unbeaten on 147 off 252 balls and will be keen to add more runs on day 3. Blackwood remained not out on 21 and the duo added 43 runs together in 44 balls.

Brief Scores

1st Innings

England: 258 all out in 70.5 overs(Ben Stokes 100, Joe Root 59; Kemar Roach 4/71, Shannon Gabriel 4/51)

West Indies: 329/5 (Kraigg Brathwaite 134, Shai Hope 147*; James Anderson 3/46)

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