Stokes and Sibley Change The Game
Ben Stokes scored 176 – his second highest test score – when he wielded a tired West Indian attack on the sword and faced more balls than ever before in a test inning.
Sibley continued to grind runs until he retreated to the center of the wicket for a 372 120 ball before Roston Chase when he showed his first signs of real aggression.
Sibley had a nervous night after ending the first day at 86 and spent the second morning approaching his second test barrel. The right-handed opener finally reached the landmark just before lunch after facing 312 balls with only four borders.
Stokes was not far behind, but had to wait until lunch was unbeaten to 99 after the break. At that point, he had already left the 235 balls he faced when he made 128 against India in 2016 – facing his longest test cricket innings so far. For the tenth time in tests, it quickly rose in three numbers and started to accelerate.
When Sibley was released, England had moved to 341/4 and was fully responsible. Ollie Pope fell on one of Chase’s, who turned and held a little low, leaving his record for the series in just 31 runs in three innings so far.
Jos Buttler kept Stokes company and helped speed the innings when he used Chase’s loose bowling to score three limits in an over. Stokes eventually fell when he tried to undo Kemar Roach – and gave the sailor his first wicket in tests since he released KL Rahul and Virat Kohli with consecutive deliveries in August 2019. Roach ended his wicket drought the same way it started and shot Chris Woake’s first ball to make it two in two.