Top-up Root holds England ground
Joe Roots 16th Test century highlighted Englands first day of complete dominance in an otherwise disappointing Caribbean campaign as the captain anchored his team to an unassailable position by the end of the third day of the third and final Test against the West Indies at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia on Monday
Gros-Islet (Saint Lucia): Joe Root’s 16th Test century highlighted England’s first day of complete dominance in an otherwise disappointing Caribbean campaign as the captain anchored his team to an unassailable position by the end of the third day of the third and final Test against the West Indies at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.
His workmanlike unbeaten 111 off 209 deliveries included just nine boundaries and typified the tourists' effort to make amends for previous failures in reaching stumps at 325 for four in their second innings, an overall lead of 448 runs with two days still available to push for a consolation victory having already surrendered the series and the Wisden Trophy with heavy defeats in the first two matches in Barbados and Antigua.
With the home side short-handed in the bowling department on the day due to an early injury to Keemo Paul, England took full advantage of the situation. Root had never gone through an entire Test series without at least registering a half-century, and with just 55 runs from the five previous innings against a reinvigorated West Indies team he was due to come good.
It happened on a day when a few others in a suspect England batting order managed to get important runs under their belts.
Successive partnerships of 74 for the third wicket with Joe Denly (69), 107 for the fourth wicket with Jos Buttler (56) and 71 so far for the fifth wicket with Ben Stokes (29 not out) ensured that the captain's steadying influence was ever-present from the moment he arrived at the crease midway through the morning session.
Eschewing extravagance he compiled his innings carefully while those around him showed a bit more aggression against a depleted West Indies attack which left much of the burden on the shoulders of fast bowlers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.