Stokes fires century as England post big first innings score

By Sports Desk March 17, 2022

Ben Stokes plundered an electric century as England put a big total on the board in their first innings on day two of the second Test against West Indies in Bridgetown.

Stokes reached his 11th Test hundred off just 114 balls as he and Joe Root (153) carried on where the tourists had left off on day one.

West Indies were able to navigate 27 overs of their own before the close of play for the loss of just one wicket, but remain 436 runs behind at 71-1 going into the third day.

It was a flawless first session for England, with Stokes coming in after Dan Lawrence (91) lost his wicket off the final ball of the opening day.

Stokes and Root stepped up the run rate, with the former in particular firing boundaries as often as he could, and the duo put on a further 125 before lunch, with Root reaching his 150.

The England captain was out shortly after the second session began after Kemar Roach trapped him lbw, which took the bowler ahead of Sir Garry Sobers into seventh on his country's list of all-time wicket-takers.

Jonny Bairstow added 20 before going for a big shot off Alzarri Joseph that was caught by Nkrumah Bonner in the deep, and then Stokes soon followed as he put his foot down even further, hitting Kraigg Brathwaite for back-to-back sixes, only to hit the next one straight to Shamarh Brooks to end with 120 to his name.

Ben Foakes (33) and Chris Woakes (41) put on a partnership of 75, but as wickets at the tail-end started to fall, Root decided to declare on 507-9.

Debutant Matt Fisher sensationally took the wicket of John Campbell (four) with just his second ball, forcing an edge through to Foakes.

However, Brathwaite (28 not out) and Brooks (31 not out) managed to see out the remainder of the day, though the former did survive after reviewing an initial 'out' decision for lbw off Jack Leach when on 14. 

Stokes back to his best

What a player Ben Stokes is on this form. He set the tone for the remainder of the England innings after Root et al had laid the groundwork on day one.

He hit a remarkable six sixes in his 120, which arrived in just 128 deliveries. That included scoring 89 from 92 balls in the morning session as he also passed the 5,000 Test runs mark.

Fisher hooks his first wicket

What a way to start your Test career. Fisher bowled an absolute beauty to dismiss Campbell, and though he was not able to add to it before the close of play, ending the day with figures of 1-18, he did threaten more than most.

The Yorkshireman has 63 wickets in first class cricket at an average of 27.52, and has made a good start to putting his name forward as a potential long-term part of England's attack.

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