Hosts England were in a dominant position when bad light stopped Day 1's play of the third and final Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford, Manchester on Friday. At the draw of bails, England were 258/4 after 85.4 overs. (More Cricket News)
It wasn't an ideal start for England in the series decider. Skipper Joe Root lost the toss Jason Holder, who promptly opted to bowl first. And the decision looked an astute one as England opener Dom Sibley, who scored a patient ton in the last match, lasted only five balls. Kemar Roach trapped him in front for a duck.
Then, Root found himself short while taking a poorly judged single with Rory Burns. England were struggling at 47/2 in 21.3 overs. Root's fall brought in the man of the moment Ben Stokes in the centre, by the top-ranked all-rounder soon departed, after a promising start. He made 20 off 43, three more than Root's score.
But young Ollie Pope, together with Burns (57 off 147) and Jos Buttler (56) thwarted Windies attack. Pope, 22, was nine runs away from his second Test hundred. The right-handed batsman has so far hit 11 fours in his 142-ball unbeaten knock.
Pope and Buttler have already added 136 runs in 230 balls for the fifth-wicket.
For the visitors, Roach took two wickets, including Stoke's big wicket. A clean bowl. Roston Chase got one, that of Burns.
Both the teams made changes in their playing XIs. England recalled pacers Jofra Archer and James Anderson in place of Sam Curran and top-order batsman Zak Crawley.
Windies made one change, bringing in spinner Rahkeem Cornwall for Alzarri Joseph.
The series is levelled at 1-1. Windies won the opener in Southampton by four wickets. England took the honours at Old Trafford with a 113-run victory.
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