On and on they marched. Messrs Brathwaite and Hope picked up in the evening where they’d left off in the afternoon. Shai reached his century, the first in his 12 Tests, and joined his partner in three figures. It’s the first time West Indies have had two centurions together at the crease in a Test innings since Samuels and Brathwaite at Port Elizabeth in 2014.
On the Guerilla mic, The Bear posited the theory that Chris Woakes needs a better haircut. Ye gods, it’s not hair but teeth that we need. The England attack as a whole was looking as edentate as a grass carp with gingivitis.
Serenely, Brathwaite and Hope navigated the calmest of seas, duly sailing past England’s first-innings total with an hour left in the day and the second new ball still hard. Another desperately hopeful review followed, Root acceding to the pleas of Woakes and Bairstow to check for a tiny scratch down leg-side from Hope’s bat. Another predictable denial was the result.
Relief for England finally came in the shape of Stuart Broad, a full delivery beating the heroic Brathwaite for pace and rearranging his stumps. The opener walked off to a huge reception with 134 against his name.
Not long after that, Stokes got reward for his hard yakka when he had Roston Chase caught by Cook at slip for 5.
At the end of the day, Shai Hope remained snookered (and unbeaten) on 147, partnered for the last few overs by the aggressive Jermaine Blackwood on 21.
Overwhelmingly West Indies’ day, then, with the score on 329-5. Mystifyingly, you can still back the men from the Caribbean at 2/1 to win this Test. Wouldn’t put anyone off.
Toiling England put to the sword by Brathwaite, Hope
Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope continued to thwart England’s efforts in the afternoon session. Hope reached his half-century and then brought up the 100 partnership, with a firm off-drive and beautiful clip through midwicket respectively.
Ginger firebrand Ben Stokes came on to bowl and summed up England’s rather hapless endeavours by starting with two wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiides. That’s how wide they were.
In all honesty, England haven’t looked much like taking a wicket and West Indies find themselves in a strong position. In the final over before tea (some off-spin filth bowled by Tom Westley; that’s how desperate we are) Brathwaite crashed one over long-on for a maximum, bringing up his century in the grand manner. Superb effort.
The partnership stands at 171, with Brathwaite on 102 and Hope 85. 206-3 at tea and England in dire need of some ideas in the Yorkshire evening sun.
Angry skies, frustrating times
Resuming on 19-1, West Indies lost nightwatchman Bishoo (bless you) quickly this morning, no match for the ageless guile of Jimmy Anderson.
Kyle Hope went for a laboured 3, edging Anderson to second slip where skipper Root took a smart low catch. It was Anderson’s third of the innings and moved him on to 495 Test wickets. When he reaches his half-thousand he’ll join McGrath and Walsh as the only seamers to have passed that landmark.
Thereafter, though, it turned into a bit of a frustrating morning for England. Kraigg Brathwaite – who surprised this correspondent by having played all of 38 Tests – batted stoically and reached a deserved 50. He found support in the form of Shai ‘The Last’ Hope, who survived a sticky start in the face of Chris Woakes’s searching away swingers and ground his way to 33.
Both Braithwaite and Shai benefited from some ill-disciplined bowling from the seamers – Woakes often starting his swingers too wide of off and Broad firing a few cheap ones down the arse – but they deserved whatever morsels they were offered.
The session was spiced by a couple of reviews. First, Brathwaite was given out LBW to Broad but was proven to have feathered it onto his pad. Sundaram Ravi duly had to make the shaming ‘I got it wrong, guv’ cross-arm signal. Then Moeen Ali reviewed a not-given LBW shout but the replay showed it hitting Brathwaite outside the line – whether he was actually playing a shot or not was a separate matter. Salting the wound, Braithwaite smacked the next ball for six to go to his half-century. Well played, sir.
109-3 at lunch, then, and England will feel…well, unfulfilled.