Seamer Kemar Roach became only the ninth West Indies bowler to take 200 wickets in Tests but Stuart Broad lashed the joint third fastest half-century for England before returning to snatch two wickets, to help put the Caribbean side on the ropes in the decisive third Test yesterday.
On a drama-filled second day at Old Trafford, West Indies snatched four wickets for 18 runs inside the first hour to send England plunging to 280 for eight, after the home side resumed well placed on 258 for four in their first innings.
Broad then arrived at number ten to blast a cavalier 45-ball 62 with nine fours and a six—his half-century requiring a mere 33 deliveries—as England rallied to 369 all out at lunch.
The 32-year-old Roach reached his landmark in the morning’s fifth over when he claimed Chris Woakes playing on for one, becoming the first West Indies bowler in 26 years to achieve the milestone.
He ended with four for 72 to lead the Windies attack, moving his career tally to 201 wickets—just one behind legendary speedster Sir Andy Roberts.
Still fired up, the outstanding Broad then removed opener Kraigg Brathwaite cheaply for one with as many on the board in the second over and West Indies never really recovered, stuttering to the close on 137 for six.
Left-handed opener John Campbell top-scored with 32 while Jermaine Blackwood struck 26 and captain Jason Holder, an unbeaten 24, but Broad and new-ball partner Jimmy Anderson—both with two for 17—destroyed the West Indies innings leaving the visitors trailing by 232 runs heading into Sunday’s critical third day.
Still 33 runs short of avoiding the follow-on, the morning session will be of critical importance for West Indies as they look to avoid defeat in the contest and retain the Wisden Trophy.
Ollie Pope had earlier failed to add to his overnight 91 while wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, unbeaten on 56 at the start, managed only 67, as Gabriel accounted for both to finish with two for 77 and spearhead the Windies’ early charge.
Pope, who had batted with composure on Friday’s opening day, was dropped in the day’s third over by Rahkeem Cornwall at slip off Gabriel but made little use of the reprieve, bowled off-stump by the same bowler in his next over, playing across a full length delivery.
Roach picked off Woakes in the very next over at 267 for six and four balls later, Gabriel had Buttler caught low down at second slip by captain Jason Holder.
When Jofra Archer (three) perished to the same combination of Gabriel and Holder, England were reeling at 280 for eight and in danger of being dismissed under 300.
But Broad took the Windies bowling apart in a daring counter-attack, posting 76 for the ninth wicket with Dom Bess (18 not out) to put the visitors back on the defensive.
He cleared the ropes at midwicket off Roach with only the fourth ball he faced before pummelling three fours in one over from skipper Holder which leaked 13 runs.
Broad pinched another two fours off Holder’s next over and reached his 13th Test fifty by smashing the same bowler behind square for another boundary.
He eventually perished in the same vein in which he played, swatting a low full toss from off-spinner Roston Chase (two for 36) to Jermaine Blackwood at deep midwicket and Holder claimed the final wicket, Anderson edging a drive to Cornwall at slip on the stroke of lunch.
Starting their reply after the interval, Brathwaite lasted ten balls before edging to captain Joe Root at slip but Campbell and Shai Hope (17) stalled England’s progress for the next our in a stand worth 43.
Campbell was self-assured in striking three fours in a 50-ball knock but succumbed when he fended a quick, short delivery from Archer and fell to a catch at gully by Rory Burns.
Wickets then fell steadily. Hope, under intense pressure following a protracted run of poor form, grafted for 64 balls before edging an away-swinger from Anderson to Buttler, in the penultimate over before tea.
On 59 for three at the interval, West Indies lost Shamarh Brooks for four to the third ball following the resumption, playing back defensively to Anderson and getting an inside edge through to Buttler.
And Chase (nine) never suggested permanence in 36 deliveries and was trapped on his stumps by Broad for a clear cut lbw verdict.
Blackwood, reprieved by DRS after being adjudged lbw to Anderson before he had scored, punched three fours off 45 balls in putting on 37 for the sixth wicket with Holder, temporarily halting the decline.
However, ambition got the better of him four overs before bad light ended play prematurely, and he lost his middle stump essaying a booming drive at Woakes.