England claimed a composed 113-run victory over the West Indies at Old Trafford on Monday to level the three-match series at 1-1.
Having been in control of the match since a dominant first innings where England posted 469-9, not even a rain-affected day on Saturday could prevent Joe Root’s men from picking up a much-needed win to keep the series alive.
Ben Stokes and captain Joe Root resumed their second innings on 37-2 on Monday morning and, with a 219 lead in hand at that stage, it was clear that England were going to accumulate as many runs as quickly as possible to give themselves a decent shot at bowling at the visitors.
And, that is exactly what they did with Stokes the aggressor once again as the left-hander took the attack to the West Indies bowlers.
Root departed for 22 when he was run out by Shane Dowrich but Stokes kicked on to bring up a quick-fire half-century.
Ollie Pope and he eventually took England’s lead past the 300-run mark before Root declared with Stokes not out on 78 from 57 deliveries – the West Indies needing 312 for victory, while England had 85 overs to bowl them out.
The run chase couldn’t have started any worse for the West Indies as John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope and Roston Chase all departed fairly cheaply, which landed their team in big trouble at 37-4 with Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes again the men doing the damage with the ball.
Sharmarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood consolidated somewhat with a 100-run partnership with both players bring up their respective half-centuries.
Stokes, though, made the all-important breakthrough when he got rid of Blackwood for 55 before Woakes trapped Shane Dowrich in front for a duck in the following over.
The writing was firmly on the wall when Sam Curran removed Brooks for 65 as the West Indies slumped to 161-7.
Captain Holder struck a few big blows and raced to 35 but he was undone by a brilliant delivery by spinner Dom Bess.
YEEEEESSSSS @DomBess99!! 🦁
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 20, 2020
Stokes then accounted for Alzarri Joseph’s dismissal before Bess wrapped when he picked up the wicket of Kemar Roach – the West Indies all out for 198 with 15 overs to spare in the day.
The teams will now remain in Manchester until the third and final Test match gets under way on Friday, also at Old Trafford.