It was always going to be tough for West Indies to survive two sessions with only seven wickets in hand on a tricky and weary pitch at Old Trafford, Manchester on Day 5 of the 2nd Test against England; and the visitors, despite putting up a rather inspired rearguard effort, were bowled out for 198 late in the third session, thus conceding their lead in the series. England claimed a series-leveling win by 113 runs in the three-match Wisden Trophy 2020 series, after setting a target of 312.
It was Ben Stokes’ Test match all throughout as he finished with 254 runs across two innings - 176 in the first innings and a quickfire 78 off 57 balls in the second - to go with his three wickets and one catch. Of the wickets that the allrounder took, it was Jermaine Blackwood’s in the penultimate session that proved pivotal to England. Blackwood, the hero for the 1st Test at the Ageas Bowl, had dug in well with Shamarh Brooks for a stand of exactly 100 in nearly 27 overs, blunting the England attack.
England had left WI reeling at 25/3 at lunch and then 37/4 early into the second session with Stuart Broad claiming three of the four wickets to fall. Broad, left out in the first Test, returned a match haul of 6 for 108. Blackwood and Brooks frustrated the England attack for the most part of the second session, but at the stroke of tea, Stokes had Blackwood (55) caught behind off a short of length delivery to open the game up for the hosts.
Post tea, Brooks departed for 62 to Sam Curran, followed soon by Shane Dowrich for a three-ball duck to Chris Woakes. Skipper Jason Holder hung around for 62-ball 35 before being castled through the gates by off-spinner Dom Bess. Stokes added the wicket of Alzarri Joseph and Bess finished off the formalities by claiming Kemar Roach - courtesy a sharp catch at forward short leg by Ollie Pope.
Earlier, England resumed on their overnight score of 37 for two and Stokes got straight into the action, looking to cart the West Indies bowlers all around the empty stadium to bring up his half-century in only 36 balls.
Skipper Joe Root also scored a quick-fire 22 and was run out as he sacrificed himself to get Stokes back on strike. First innings centurion Stokes was unbeaten hitting three sixes, when England declared at 129 for three.
The series is level at 1-1 lead in the three-test series, which is being played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WI won the first Test in Southampton. The third test will also be played in Manchester.