Mark Wood's previous Test best was his 3-39 against Pakistan at Dubai in October 2015

England in West Indies: Mark Wood takes 5-41 as tourists claim 142-run lead


Third Test, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia (day two of five)
England 277 (Stokes 79, Buttler 67, Roach 4-48) &19-0
West Indies 154 (Campbell 41, Wood 5-41, Moeen 4-36)
England lead by 142 runs
Scorecard

Mark Wood claimed his first five-wicket Test haul to help England to a 142-run lead over West Indies on day two of the final match of the series.

Wood, playing for the first time since May 2018, bowled at 95mph as he took 5-41, with Moeen Ali claiming 4-36 as West Indies were dismissed for 154.

Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings guided England to 19-0 at stumps.

Earlier, the tourists lost their final six wickets for 46 runs as they were bowled out for 277 in St Lucia.

England arrived in St Lucia on the back of four batting collapses and having lost the first two matches of the series.

After their improved batting performance on the opening day, they again collapsed but their fielding was sharp and their bowling disciplined as they dismissed their hosts cheaply to take control of the match.

Wood bowled with a hostility and speed the side have been missing, regularly exceeding 90mph, and was backed up by Moeen’s off-spin and England’s close fielders.

Stuart Broad, who took 1-42, claimed a stunning one-handed catch, throwing himself backwards to dismiss Alzarri Joseph as West Indies’ innings fizzled out.

It will be frustrating, however, for England and their fans that they enjoyed their best day of the tour so far with the series already lost.

Wood brings pace on England return

Mark Wood
Mark Wood claimed two wickets in his first over in St Lucia

Wood has long been tipped as the bowler who could add extra zip to England’s attack, but a long-term ankle injury and some disappointing returns have limited his appearances.

In the past England have used him in an enforcer role, coming round the wicket and consistently bowling short, but he struggled to maintain his pace for long spells.

However, in St Lucia, Root simply let Wood run in and bowl, with the 29-year-old’s new, lengthened run-up allowing him to generate extra pace at an awkward angle.

Introduced in the 21st over, Wood claimed two wickets in two deliveries, with Shai Hope and Roston Chase both playing loose drives and edging to Rory Burns at gully.

Wood’s ball to Hope was 92mph; his hat-trick delivery to Darren Bravo was clocked at 95mph. He mixed up his lengths, going short to throw the batsmen off-balance and backing it up with full, straight deliveries.

He had Shimron Hetmyer caught in the slip cordon from a short ball before Bravo edged a full delivery to Root at first slip to leave West Indies 79-6.

Root then rested Wood, bringing him back to bowl at the tail, and the Durham man bowled Shannon Gabriel with a yorker to claim his fifth wicket

His pace was complemented by the spin of Moeen, who dismissed openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell with consecutive deliveries after they had put on 57 for the first wicket.

Campbell had been the aggressor, twice striking James Anderson down the ground for four, but he was trapped lbw by a ball that straightened, immediately after Brathwaite had been caught at mid-wicket following an uncharacteristic stride down the pitch.

Keemo Paul was tidily stumped by Bairstow off Moeen before Broad’s superb catch, running back from mid-on, to dismiss Joseph put England firmly on top.

Gabriel sparks England collapse

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow has been bowled 30 times in 109 Test innings

England have collapsed in every innings this series, usually because of a series of rash shots.

However they were simply overpowered in the morning in St Lucia, with a superb spell of fast bowling from Gabriel seeing them lose their final six wickets in 95 minutes.

Resuming on 231-4, England added just one run before Buttler was bowled by a full Gabriel delivery, and the same bowler tormented a jittery Jonny Bairstow.

Bairstow was struck on the grille as he tried to evade a 93mph bouncer and Gabriel dropped a tough caught and bowled chance with the wicketkeeper on two and struggling for rhythm.

“I’ve caught balls off Shannon Gabriel in practice and he nearly blows your hand off,” ex-Windies coach Stuart Law told The Cricket Social.

“He’s such a big strong bloke – physically and mentally strong, and he bowls it with a certain pace and heaviness. It’s amazing to see it come at you.”

Having come through Gabriel’s spell, Ben Stokes was caught spectacularly at square leg by keeper Shane Dowrich after top-edging a pull, before Bairstow was bowled once again trying to drive a Roach inswinger.

The wickets fell quickly, with Moeen loosely edging behind and Wood holing out at fine leg, before Anderson fended a bouncer to fourth slip.

‘Today I felt like an England player’ – what they said

Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad claimed a superb catch to dismiss Alzarri Joseph

Former England captain Alastair Cook on The Cricket Social: “I don’t think there will be a happier dressing room than there is right now for Mark Wood.

“He always said to me he has always felt like he has underachieved. It has been really fiery stuff from him. You can see how popular he is within this team.”

Mark Wood speaking on Sky Sports: “It feels fantastic – all the hard times I’ve had with injury, and the self doubt, today I felt like an England player.

“I have had some bad times. There were times where I was desperate to do well but it wasn’t quite happening for me. I am here on merit not potential.”

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew:“We’ve realised yet again what a difference pace can make to any attack. We saw some terrific bowling and wonderful catching.”

West Indies wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich: “I think we’ve missed an opportunity to capitalise on a good pitch. Mark Woody came in and made a difference – it was a decent spell and he was sharp – but there were some soft dismissals in there as well.”

Contact Email (BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (mrbenrory@europe.com)

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