Burns hails ‘ridiculous’ feat as hosts scent win
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.”