West Indies 370 & 61-6 v England 428
¬† ¬† ¬†England blew away the West Indies top order in the late Sunday sunshine to take an unshakeable stranglehold on the second Test and the series.
James Anderson bowled Kieran Powell for just one in his second over and had Adrian Barath lbw in his third to leave the tourists reeling.
Stuart Broad then took the key wicket for Shivnarine Chanderpaul for 11 before Tim Bresnan trapped Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and Kirk Edwards lbw as West Indies crashed to 61-6 by the close of day three, a lead of just three.
It was a desperate display of batting after hard work and perseverance from the bowlers had given West Indies a real chance in the match.
But their dramatic collapse in the last session means England are almost certain to wrap up the win on Monday, and with it the three-match series.
The West Indies top four has looked dreadfully vulnerable throughout the tour but this was wasteful in the extreme, undoing all the good work of Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul earlier in the day.
On a pitch showing little sign of deterioration, the underdogs would have been delighted to take England’s remaining eight wickets for 169 runs after Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen resumed on 102 and 72 respectively.
Pietersen was the first to go, lbw for 80 playing around a full one from Rampaul that reversed a little.
The crowd’s disappointment was alleviated by some brisk strokeplay from Ian Bell before he was beaten for pace by a skiddy, snaking delivery from Roach and given out lbw on referral for 22.
¬† ¬† Roach, plagued by no-balls on Saturday, was working up a genuine head of steam, roughing up new batsman Jonny Bairstow and finding bounce and pace to keep Strauss watchful.
Bairstow never looked comfortable against the short ball and it was no surprise when he fended another rapid one to mid-on off the leading edge to depart for just four.
The young Yorkshireman had come into the Test team with a burgeoning reputation and glowing references from several sage judges, and England will hope these early frailties against short-pitched bowling can be eliminated by batting coach Graham Gooch.
Darren Sammy had already enjoyed one of his better Tests after his maiden century in the first innings.
It got even better before lunch when he bowled a cavalier Matt Prior via inside edge for 16 to leave England 336-6, still 34 in arrears, and after Strauss had crashed away a series of meaty drives, had his opposite number caught behind for 141.
Once again England’s tail came good. Bresnan cut and drove with relish – Broad by comparison was more watchful – and 53 precious runs were added for the eighth wicket.
England’s lead was up to 46 when Broad, on 25, top-edged a sweep from off-spinner Shane Shillingford to Sammy at slip.
Although Swann and Anderson went soon after to Marlon Samuels, the West Indies capitulation began almost immediately.
If the bowling was tight and aggressive, the shot selection was awful and the footwork poor.
Powell aimed an expansive drive at one that he should have left to be bowled off the inside edge, Barath barely moved from his crease and Bravo for some reason threw away a referral on a lbw that was taking out middle stump.
Ramdin was pinned in front by another unerring off-cutter from the rampant Bresnan, and Kirk Edwards – absent from the ground for much of the day with flu – lasted just two hapless balls before falling the same way.
Bresnan will resume on Monday with 3-10 from six overs and Anderson 2-12 off seven, and it will take another near-miraculous partnership from first-innings centurions Samuels and Sammy to deny England the win that will give them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.