One way or other, there is entertainment assured when Stuart Broad walks out to bat. Of late, it has been usually short-lived and related to how quickly he gets out or his reviewing skills (or lack of it). But behind that all, there was always an interesting batsman who could strike the ball well on his day.
And that was on display in Manchester on Saturday as Broad wrestled the momentum back in his side’s favour.
On the second morning of the deciding third Test, just when West Indies had made serious inroads, Broad smashed a counterattacking 62 before England were dismissed for 369 to bring up lunch.
Resuming on 258/4, England lost a wicket in four consecutive overs to collapse to 280/8, with Ollie Pope falling first without adding to his overnight score of 91.
The collapse brought Broad to the middle and the left-hander hit the Windies’ bowlers to all parts of Old Trafford, reaching his half-century in 33 balls putting him tied for third place in the all-time list of England’s fastest Test fifties. Broad hit nine fours and a six.
Broad’s 45-ball innings ended when he holed out in the deep. That it happened off a full toss was anti-climactic, but by then he had done the damage. He had frustrated West Indies and put England back in charge. The innings could be potentially game-changing for England as he put up a ninth-wicket partnership with Dom Bess worth 76 runs.
For the visitors, Kemar Roach had team-best figures of 4/72 and picked up his 200th wicket.
Later, England’s pace attack, led by Broad and James Anderson once again, left West Indies in deep trouble.
The Windies, who won the first Test in Southampton before losing the second match in Manchester, are looking to capture a Test series in England for the first time since 1988.
Day two report and highlights here.
The entertaining innings from Broad was matched by some entertainment on Twitter too:
Finally, Broad’s innings even resulted in a new Twitter account:
(With PTI inputs)