Burns hails ‘ridicu­lous’ feat as hosts scent win

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Third Test - By Tim Wigmore

Rory Burns paid trib­ute to Stuart Broad af­ter Eng­land took a firm grip on the third and fi­nal Test at Emi­rates Old Traf­ford

Eng­land are on the brink of clinch­ing a se­ries vic­tory over West Indies af­ter a spec­tac­u­lar per­for­mance from Broad. The pace­man took six wick­ets over seven overs on the third day to leave West Indies in dis­ar­ray.

Broad, who had been omit­ted from the first Test of the se­ries, fin­ished with six for 31 in the morn­ing to wrap up the tourists’ first in­nings. Af­ter Eng­land had set a tar­get of 399 to win, the tourists slipped to 10 for two in re­ply, with

Broad tak­ing both wick­ets to lift his over­all Test tally to 499.

“It’s a pretty ridicu­lous achieve­ment to get 500,” said Burns, who scored 90 in Eng­land’s sec­ond in­nings. “He’s bowl­ing re­ally well at the minute and hope­fully we keep grab­bing them in the slips.”

Broad’s first-in­nings fig­ures were his best Test re­turn since Jan­uary 2016, and his two wick­ets in the even­ing put him just one away from be­com­ing only the sec­ond English­man, af­ter James An­der­son, to take 500 test wick­ets, and the sev­enth Test crick­eter in his­tory to reach that land­mark.

There are still two days of play re­main­ing, although per­sis­tent rain is fore­cast in Manch­ester to­day. But even if no cricket were to be played on the fourth day, Eng­land would be con­fi­dent of wrap­ping up vic­tory on day five.

Burns, whose in­nings helped Eng­land reach 226 for two in their sec­ond in­nings, ad­mit­ted the fore­cast was a fac­tor in Eng­land’s de­ci­sion to de­clare on the third even­ing.

“It’s prob­a­bly played into the dec­la­ra­tion,” he said. “I don’t think tomorrow looks that great, so, ob­vi­ously we ac­cel­er­ated a bit there to try and get into a good po­si­tion and man­aged to get a cou­ple of poles.”

Burns and Dom Si­b­ley added 114 for the first wicket, Eng­land’s first cen­tury stand for the open­ing wicket on home soil since 2016.

“For us to push on as a part­ner­ship, it’s a re­ally good thing that we’ve been able to do it,” said Burns.

The Sur­rey bats­man – play­ing in his 18th Test – said he was feel­ing more com­fort­able at the level. In 11 Tests go­ing back to the start of last year’s Ashes, he is av­er­ag­ing 45.

“I sup­pose to a cer­tain ex­tent there is a feel­ing of be­ing set­tled,” he said. “But I think it’s also a danger­ous po­si­tion to put your­self in. You want to keep scor­ing runs as much as you can.”

Burns was de­nied a third Test cen­tury when he fell try­ing to ac­cel­er­ate as Eng­land pushed on to­wards a dec­la­ra­tion.

“Joe Root spoke to me at tea about pos­si­bly declar­ing tonight, so af­ter that we tried to nudge it on,” Burns said. “The weather is def­i­nitely the big fac­tor be­hind the dec­la­ra­tion.”

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