News Frontliner Web Desk, 12 February 2019: Joe Root struck his 16th Test ton on Day 3 as England earn a commanding 448-run lead against the Windies in St Lucia.
After a string of dismal performances with the bat, Joe Root finally freed himself from his shackles of failure to score an unbeaten 111 on day 3 of the 3rd and final Test match between the Windies and England in Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia. Joe Denly (69) and Jos Buttler (56) also hit half-centuries but most importantly they gave their skipper Root valiant support in course of his century.
The Windies are already 2-0 up in the 3 match Test Series and were high with confidence coming into the 3rd Test match. The Windies banking on the all-round displays of Jason Holder dominated the English in each and every aspects of the game in the previous two matches. But things were a bit different in this Test match. Windies captain Jason Holder was barred to feature in this Test match because of slow over rate in the previous Test match at Antigua. His replacement Keemo Paul is an exciting prospect but not as efficient as Holder.
Now, in the absence of Holder, the English grasped the opportunity of salvaging some pride. Batting first the tourists made 277 in the 1st innings with Ben Stokes top scoring with 79. The Windies in the absence of their skipper lacked both motivation and efficiency as their batting capitulated for a paltry 154.
Now, with over a 100-run lead for the first time in the series, the English batting finally hit the zenith in the 2nd innings and the orchestrator is none other than Joe Root. Root batted rather conservatively in the beginning of this innings, with, frequently nudging the ball into the leg side, before picking up the pace to bring up his 16th Test hundred in 189 balls hitting out his ninth four of the innings. His celebration in an understated manner and then suddenly punching the air, there seemed to be a tinge of frustration that the runs had not come when the series was alive.
At the end of Day 3, England’s score stands at 325-4 with Root and Ben Stokes at the crease likely to stretch their lead past the 400 mark on Day 4.