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England build lead over Windies
Gros Islet: England built on an already dominant position in reaching 207 for three in their second innings, an overall lead of 330 runs, at tea on the third day of the third and final Test against the West Indies in St Lucia on Monday.
With the home side short-handed in the bowling department on the day and without regular captain Jason Holder for the match, the tourists took full advantage of the situation in adding another 99 runs in the afternoon session for the loss of Joe Denly’s wicket.
Under pressure to deliver after a modest start to his Test career in the second match a week earlier, Denly rode his luck in getting to 69 before falling to Shannon Gabriel to end a 74-run second-wicket partnership with Joe Root. Although troubled by a slight hamstring strain, the fast bowler continued to charge in at pace and was eventually rewarded with the wicket via a catch to wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.
Captain Root was then joined by Jos Buttler and the pair have progressed without too many difficulties, their fourth-wicket stand already worth 60 with Root on 45 and Buttler on 37 going into the final session of the day as they pursue a consolation victory after already surrendering the series and the Wisden Trophy following defeats in the first two Tests in Barbados and Antigua.
A morning of misfortune and misadventure saw England ensuring there was no repetition of the collapses which have defined this Caribbean tour so far, although the early signs were not encouraging.
Resuming at the overnight position of 19 without loss, the tourists suffered an immediate setback when Rory Burns clipped the first delivery of the morning to Alzarri Joseph at square-leg to give Keemo Paul immediate success.
However the young all-rounder, drafted into the final eleven for this match due to the suspension of regular captain Holder for a slow over-rate offence in the previous match, left the field on a stretcher shortly after as he appeared to suffer a serious leg injury chasing a ball to the boundary.
West Indies did not help their increasingly difficult situation when Shimron Hetmyer put down a simple chance offered by Denly off Shannon Gabriel. It proved a costly miss.
He lost the other opening batsman, Keaton Jennings, midway through the morning when the left-hander attempted to turn a delivery from Joseph top the leg-side and the ball ricocheted off his body onto the stumps to send him back to the pavilion for 23. (AFP)