Blackwood hits maiden Test hundred on third day against England
NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC):
Jermaine Blackwood's maiden Test century, coupled with an incisive new-ball burst from Jerome Taylor, temporarily raised West Indies' hopes of carving out a match-winning position.
But England stormed back to end day three of the opening Test on top yesterday.
The 23-year-old right-hander carved out a superb, unbeaten 112 as West Indies, responding to England's first innings of 399, were dismissed for 295, 25 minutes before tea at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
Taylor then grabbed two early wickets in an excellent display of pace and swing, which reduced England to 52 for three inside the first hour of the final session.
However, Gary Ballance and Joe Root restored order to the innings in an unbroken fourth wicket partnership worth 64, allowing England to snatch an overall lead of 220 heading into the fourth day. Ballance stroked an unbeaten 44, while the in-form Root was on 32.
Taylor took two for 12 from eight testing overs.
However, it was the unflappable Blackwood who stole all the headlines, and was the impetus behind West Indies' progress early in the day.
Resuming the day on 30 with West Indies on 155 for four, Blackwood negotiated challenging spells from the England seamers - especially after lunch - to reach three figures for the first time in his fledgling six-Test career. All told, he faced 224 balls in 5-1/2 hours at the crease and counted 14 fours and two sixes.
He enjoyed his share of luck, dropped by James Tredwell at gully on 43 in the eighth over of the morning from seamer Ben Stokes, but never wavered as he raised his half century 1-1/4 hours before lunch.
Importantly, he stretched his fifth-wicket stand with veteran left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul to 93, before adding a further 49 for the seventh wicket with Jason Holder (16).
Chanderpaul scored 46 off 139 balls in 189 minutes and struck eight fours.
Going to lunch on 69 with West Indies on 234 for six, Blackwood played positively on the resumption, taking 14 runs from the fourth over after lunch by Stokes. He cleared the long off ropes with the first ball of the over before collecting two successive off-side boundaries, to move into the 80s.
He calmly brought up his century an hour after the lunch interval when he punched Tredwell down the ground for a single.
The innings then declined rapidly, as West Indies lost their last four wickets for 19 runs. Tredwell was the leading bowler with four for 47, while Anderson (2-67) and Broad (2-67) picked up two wickets apiece.
ENGLAND 1st Innings 399
WEST INDIES 1st innings
(overnight 155 for four)
K Brathwaite c Jordan b Tredwell 39
D Smith c wkp Buttler b Anderson 11
D Bravo c wkp Buttler b Jordan 10
M Samuels c wkp Buttler b Broad 33
S Chanderpaul c Stokes b Tredwell 46
J Blackwood not out 112
*+D Ramdin c wkp Buttler b Broad 9
J Holder c Ballance b Tredwell 16
K Roach c wkp Buttler b Tredwell 5
J Taylor run out 0
S Benn c Root b Anderson 2
Extras (lb4, w6, nb2) 12
TOTAL (all out, 112.6 overs) 295
Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Smith), 2-42 (Bravo), 3-89 (Samuels), 4-99 (Brathwaite), 5-192 (Chanderpaul), 6-227 (Ramdin), 7-276 (Holder), 8-292 (Roach), 9-292 (Taylor), 10-295 (Benn)
Bowling: Anderson 23-9-67-2 (w1), Broad 22-2-67-2, Jordan 23-8-46-1 (w1, nb1), Stokes 19-3-64-0 (nb1), Tredwell 26-12-47-4.
ENGLAND 2nd Innings
*A Cook c Benn b Taylor 13
I Trott c wkp Ramdin b Taylor 4
G Balance not out 44
I Bell run out 11
J Root not out 32
Extras (lb5, w5, nb2) 12
TOTAL (3 wkts, 38 overs) 116
Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Trott), 2-20 (Cook), 3-52 (Bell).
Bowling: Taylor 8-4-12-2, Roach 9-1-32-0 (nb1), Holder 7-3-20-0 (w1, nb1), Benn 9-2-34-0, Samuels 5-0-13-0.
Position: England lead by 220 runs with seven second innings wickets remaining.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Billy Bowden, Steve Davis; TV - Bruce Oxenford.