Stok­ing the fire

Big Ben bags six but Windies bite back on day of carnage

The Cricket Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Stocks at Lord’s

BEN STOKES pro­duced a ca­reer-best six-wicket haul dur­ing a dev­as­tat­ing marathon spell that blew away West Indies at Lord’s yes­ter­day, be­fore the tourists replied to run through Eng­land’s top-or­der.

Stokes bowled un­changed for 14.3 overs ei­ther side of tea – a pe­riod span­ning two hours and 26 min­utes – to take 6-22 in a mas­ter­class of swing bowl­ing that saw the tourists routed for 123 in this de­cid­ing Test.

That phe­nom­e­nal ef­fort from the Durham ace beat his pre­vi­ous best Test haul of 6-36 against Aus­tralia in the de­ci­sive Test of the 2015 Ashes at Trent Bridge.

It also saw the all-rounder, who scored a hun­dred against New Zealand at this ground in 2015, be­come only the eighth player in the his­tory of the game to get on both the bowl­ing and bat­ting hon­ours board at Lord’s.

How­ever, Eng­land’s bat­ting prob­lems con­tin­ued with the home side los­ing Mark Stone­man, Alas­tair Cook, Tom West­ley and Joe Root as they col­lapsed to 24-4, be­fore bad light came to the res­cue with Stokes and Dawid Malan hav­ing taken the score to 46-4.

On a day of see-sawing for­tunes, Stokes’ ef­fort with the ball over­shad­owed the ef­forts of James An­der­son – af­ter the Lan­cashire opener had looked on course to take his 500th Test wicket, re­mov­ing Kraigg Brath­waite and Kyle Hope as the West Indies slumped to 22-2

But the fact that Stokes took the fi­nal three West Indies scalps in 16 min­utes af­ter tea left An­der­son stranded on 499 Test wick­ets.

The leader of Eng­land’s at­tack had come into this fi­nal Test three shy of 500 and had looked cer­tain to reach that

land­mark when tak­ing the first two West Indies wick­ets dur­ing the morn­ing ses­sion.

An­der­son was taken out of the at­tack in the af­ter­noon ses­sion af­ter bowl­ing 12 overs. But Eng­land still needed three wick­ets to wrap up the West Indies in­nings when he re­turned shortly be­fore tea.

The 35-year-old was bowl­ing bril­liantly and saw a se­ries of de­liv­er­ies go ag­o­nis­ingly close to the stumps and the edges of his op­po­nents’ bats.

An­der­son, though, will now have to wait un­til West Indies’ sec­ond in­nings later in the match to be­come only the sixth player – and third seam bowler af­ter Aus­tralian Glenn McGrath and Court­ney Walsh of the West Indies – to claim 500 wick­ets.

PIC­TURES: Getty Images

Off you go! Ben Stokes cel­e­brates tak­ing the wicket of Shane Dowrich, but the tourists were fight­ing back to­wards the end of yes­ter­day’s play at Lord’s. Inset: Ja­son Holder grabs the wicket of Tom West­ley

In form: Ke­mar Roach

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