England have grabbed the second Test by the scruff of the neck at Old Trafford, declaring on 469-9 and then reducing the West Indies to 32-1 before the close.
The patience of Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes had helped England to 207-3 at stumps on day one and it was that duo that did the majority of the damage today.
They produced measured innings and reached their centuries either side of the Lunch interval.
The Vicar of Sibley’s century – his second for England and first on home soil – was without doubt one for the Test cricket purists and the sort of innings that made you feel very positive about his potential to be an England opener for some time.
His partner shifted through the gears as the day went on, reaching his 10th Test century just after Lunch and producing some quite remarkable stroke play.
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) July 17, 2020
Stokesy’s 176 was befitting a standing ovation from a raucous Old Trafford crowd and though it didn’t get one, the way he has played over the last 18 months or so suggests there will be plenty more opportunities for that.
When eventually the partnership was broken, Sibbers and Stokesy had put on 260 together for the fourth wicket – a record at Old Trafford.
As he did at the Ageas Bowl, Ollie Pope looked fantastic but fell cheaply, which brought Jos Buttler to the crease.
A lot has been said in the media recently about Buttler’s place in the England side but he produced a positive and attack-minded 40 that helped Root’s men to move into a dominant position on day two.
Dom Bess provided another late cameo alongside Stuart Broad but with the hosts on 469-9 just before 6pm, the skipper called his troops back to the dressing room with about an hour left to bowl at the Windies.
YESSS! @CurranSM makes the breakthrough! 🙌
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 17, 2020
Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes opened the bowling for England but it was Sam Curran that made the breakthrough, trapping Jason Campbell in front for 12.
The Windies finished the day on 32-1, though they could’ve been two down had England reviewed an LBW shout against nightwatchman Alzari Joseph.
Rooty’s men will be hoping to get a couple of early wickets tomorrow morning and really get after their opponents.