Brathwaite falls but Hope keeps Windies in hunt


—Photo by Getty Images

LEEDS, United Kingdom: England removed Kraigg Brathwaite for 95 but Shai Hope was still at the crease with the West Indies pushing for a stunning win as a dramatic second Test at Headingley headed towards a thrilling conclusion.

West Indies were 199 for three, needing a further 123 runs in a minimum of 35 overs to reach a target of 322, at tea on Tuesday’s fifth day.

Shai Hope was 74 not out and Roston Chase two not out.

Brathwaite narrowly failed to become the first batsman to make hundreds in both innings of a first-class match at Headingley when the opener was dismissed by off-spinner Moeen Ali shortly before tea.

Together with Hope, he put on 144 for the third wicket.

The pair had shared a stand of 246 in West Indies’ first innings, with Hope making 147 — his maiden Test century — and Brathwaite 134.

But the West Indies will head into the final session still in with a chance of just their fourth away Test win, excluding fixtures against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, in 88 matches spanning 20 years.

Their performance this match has been all the more impressive given West Indies’ innings and 209-run thrashing by England inside three days in the first of this three-Test series at Edgbaston.

After rain delayed Tuesday’s scheduled start by 15 minutes, West Indies resumed on five without loss.

James Anderson walked out just three wickets away from becoming the first England bowler to take 500 Test wickets.

Anderson had remained on 497 in the six overs of the West Indies’ chase that were possible on Monday after England captain Joe Root declared his side’s second innings on 490 for eight, with Moeen Ali’s 84 — one of six fifties in the innings — having seemingly put the match beyond West Indies’ reach.

England, who had been 169 runs behind on first innings, were helped considerably by several West Indies dropped catches, with the tourists’ misses this match amounting to a total of 238 runs.

– Brathwaite reprieve –

But the West Indies had an early reprieve Tuesday when normally reliable first slip Alastair Cook dropped Brathwaite, yet to add to his overnight four, off Stuart Broad as he failed to hold a two-handed, chest-high, chance to his left.

The closest Anderson came to a wicket in the session was when Brathwaite, on 22, edged him just short of third slip Tom Westley.

Instead it was Broad who struck twice in contrasting fashion as the West Indies’ 46 for none became 53 for two.
Broad had a ‘conventional’ wicket when Powell (23) fended to Stokes at fourth slip.

He then removed Kyle Hope for the unluckiest of ducks when, having dropped a fiercely hit return catch from Brathwaite, the ball deflected off his thigh and into the stumps at the bowler’s end, with the non-striker run out as he backed up.

West Indies were 86 for two at lunch, with Brathwaite 49 not out and Shai Hope, Kyle’s younger brother, unbeaten on 11.

The start of the second session saw Hope drive Anderson through mid-on for four while Brathwaite pulled Chris Woakes for three to complete a 98-ball fifty.

Hope followed him to the landmark in 70 balls, including seven fours as the runs kept coming.

But the wicket England so desperately wanted came on the stroke of tea when Brathwaite’s edged drive off Ali was safely held by Ben Stokes at slip.

It was the end of a brilliant 180-ball innings, including 12 fours, with Brathwaite having batted for more than 10 hours in total in the match.—AFP