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.
“It’s really pleasing to make a start count,” said Root at the end of the day. “I was frustrated in the first innings and I’m glad to make it count after getting in. I managed to find ways of scoring runs at times when I didn’t feel great but it felt like it clicked today.”
CRICKET PSL: Qalandars slay the Kings to win by 22 runs
DUBAI: Lahore Qalandars, that lost its first match to Islamabad, managed to register their first win of the PSL 2019 by beating Karachi Kings.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
Cricket: Sri Lanka beats South Africa
DURBAN: Kusal Perera took Sri Lanka to a sensational one-wicket win on the fourth day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Saturday.
Perera hit a career-best 153 not out as he and Vishwa Fernando put on an unbeaten 78 in a last-wicket partnership that enabled Sri Lanka to secure only their second win in 14 Test matches in South Africa. Victory seemed unlikely when the ninth wicket fell with the total on 226, with the tourists chasing a target of 304. But the left-handed Perera successfully farmed the strike, with South African captain Faf du Plessis persisting with defensive fields for the in-form batsman, while Fernando only had to face 27 balls during a 96-ball partnership. South Africa took the second new ball with the total on 263 but still kept most of their fielders on the boundary for Perera, who hit sixes off both Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada before slashing Rabada to the third man for the winning boundary.
PSL 4: Multan Sultans field against Islamabad United
DUBAI: Multan Sultans won the toss and elected to field first against Islamabad United, on Saturday during the fourth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Dubai.
This will be the second match for both of them as Islamabad won their first match by 5 wickets against Lahore Qalandars while Multan were defeated by just 7 runs against Karachi Kings.
Both Islamabad and Multan have balanced sides but the former have an edge with a victory in their first match.
United the defending champions led by fast bowler Mohammad Sami.
However, Multan is being captained by veteran all-rounder and former Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik who hit an aggressive fifty against Karachi Kings on Friday.