England’s declaration after a huge score, a loss of one wicket to the West Indies

England declared their innings at Barbados with a superb score. Ben Stokes led the team with a quick century for England, who lost Joe Root (153) after lunch.

Stokes scored 120, while Ben Fox (33) and Chris Vokes (41) put the team on 507/9. Veeramami Perumal took three wickets for West Indies.

In reply, the West Indies were 71/1 at the end of the second day. After losing John Campbell in the second over, Craig Brathwaite (28 *) and Shamar Brooks (31 *) put on 57 for the hosts.

Ben Stokes scored a superb century and debutant Matthew Fisher took a wicket with just his second delivery as England strengthened their grip on the second Test against West Indies with a dominant performance on day two.

Stokes’ hundred was his first since returning to the England set-up in late 2021 and came in spectacular fashion, with the all-rounder hitting six maximums in his 120 from 128 balls.

An emotional Stokes looked skyward upon reaching a ton for the 11th time in his career but the first since the death of his father, and the 30-year-old marked the occasion by making the now-familiar symbol with his hands to dedicate his score to the departed Gerard Stokes.

Alongside Stokes’ headline-grabbing knock, England captain Joe Root reached 150 for the 12th time in his Test career on a strong batting day for his side, and lower-order runs from Ben Foakes and Chris Woakes helped England post 507/9 declared.

And further gloss was added to an excellent day for England when debutant Fisher struck with the new ball off just his second delivery in international cricket to have John Campbell caught behind.

West Indies closed on 71/1, still 436 runs in arrears with three days’ play remaining.

England had resumed on 244/3, with captain Root out in the middle on 119* and Stokes fresh to the crease after Dan Lawrence had fallen in the final over of the first day for 91.

And Root and Stokes quietly accumulated for the first half of the morning session, taking the sting out of a ball that was just five overs old at the start of play.

Stokes signaled his attacking intent with two huge sixes midway through the morning, and the all-rounder reached his half-century, moving beyond 5,000 career Test runs in the process, with a third monster maximum straight down the ground.

And the runs flowed at a remarkable rate for the remainder of the session, with Root content to let his teammate have the strike as Stokes closed in on his ton in the run-up to lunch.

The wind was taken slightly out of England’s sails when Joe Root was trapped in-front by Kemar Roach shortly after the restart, with the decision made after a review from the home side.

And Stokes reined himself in with new batter Jonny Bairstow alongside him in the middle, nudging his way through the 90s before turning a ball away for a quick single to bring up an 11th Test century of his career.

A visibly emotional Stokes soaked in the moment, raising his hand in the crooked-finger formation that he uses to remember his late father, and was embraced by Bairstow as a largely England-supporting crowd stood in applause.

A scratchy knock from Bairstow came to an end when he was caught off Alzarri Joseph for 20. But England’s No. 5 looked set to go big when he smashed Kraigg Brathwaite for consecutive sixes to move to 120, only to be caught in the deep as he looked to make it a hat-trick of maximums off the West Indies skipper.

Eyeing a score in excess of 500, England hunkered down after Bairstow and Stokes had departed in consecutive overs, with Foakes and Woakes quietly making it through to tea.

But the pair played some strokes after the break, with Foakes’ 33 and Woakes 41 helping England up to 507.

It is just the fourth time under Root’s captaincy that England have reached 500, and the skipper took advantage of the unusual situation by declaring when Jack Leach fell to opposite number Veerasammy Permaul.

Facing a decent stint with the new ball in the evening session, England’s start could barely have gone better, with debutant Fisher finding the edge of Campbell’s bat with the second ball of the second over to get his Test career off to a stunning start.

But England’s attack strived a little too hard for further breakthroughs, offering plenty of scoring opportunities as Brathwaite (28*) and Shamarh Brooks (31*) played through to the close.

The West Indian pair will resume with the score on 71/1, but still trailing England’s giant first-innings score by 436.


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