Root century builds sizeable England advantage

By Sports Desk February 11, 2019

England captain Joe Root led by example with an unbeaten century establishing a healthy lead over West Indies on day three of the third Test in St Lucia.

Root became the first England batsman to score a hundred in the series by posting 111 as the tourists built a 448-run advantage over the Windies at the Darren Sammy National Stadium on Monday.

The hosts started brilliantly with Keemo Paul removing Rory Burns (10) with the day's opening delivery, but he was forced off in the fourth over after sustaining a thigh injury in the field.

Keaton Jennings made a start before falling for 23 in bizarre fashion to leave serious question marks hanging over his future in the team ahead of the Ashes.

However, Root anchored England's innings by building a 107-run union with Jos Buttler (56) after Joe Denly (69) claimed his maiden Test fifty.

The skipper opted not to declare before the close, which he saw out alongside Ben Stokes (29 not out) with England at 325-4 and in a strong position to avoid a whitewash.

Burns and Jennings steered England through 10 overs on Sunday, but the former did not last a single ball more with a tame shot off Paul straight to Alzarri Joseph at square leg.

Paul was taken away on a stretcher after pulling up while chasing a cover drive from Denly and Shannon Gabriel (1-87) was left fuming when Shimron Hetmyer put the opener down on 12 at slip – although replays suggested the seamer had overstepped.

Joseph (1-63) followed Paul's lead by claiming a wicket with his opening delivery, though there was an element of luck in Jennings dragging onto leg stump via his thigh pad.

Denly brought up his fifty after lunch with the eighth of his 11 boundaries but his fine knock came to an end after a second wild cut in succession saw him edge Gabriel through to Shane Dowrich.

Buttler injected some urgency but soon settled and overturned a caught-behind decision from umpire Rod Tucker with a wise review before tea.

Root had his first fifty for eight innings off spinner Roston Chase (0-92) but Kemar Roach (1-31) made full use of the new ball by bowling Buttler with a pinpoint delivery.

The England captain punished a full toss from Joseph with a punch back down the ground to reach three figures and cap off a fine day for the tourists that puts a first win of the tour in their sights.

Related items

  • Gatland: Time-bomb Sinckler could go off in Cardiff Gatland: Time-bomb Sinckler could go off in Cardiff

    Wales head coach Warren Gatland thinks the enormity of a crucial Six Nations clash in Cardiff on Saturday could be challenging for the temperament of England's "time-bomb" Kyle Sinckler.

    Prop Sinckler had an altercation with Peter O'Mahony in the win over Ireland and was reminded to adhere to "rugby values" by referee Nigel Owens following a clash with France's Arthur Iturria at Twickenham.

    Gatland, who selected Sinckler for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2017, would not be surprised to see Sinckler sailing close to the wind again in the heat of the battle at the Principality Stadium.

    "There is a challenge sometimes with his temperament. He's aware of it. Other players are aware of it. We've already seen in the Six Nations that he has been involved in a couple of incidents," said the New Zealander.

    "Hopefully, we don't get dragged into that on Saturday. Emotionally, he can be a bit of a time-bomb. I am not saying anything that people aren't aware of.

    "Look, we won't be going out there trying to antagonise him, because that's not in our make-up. We will just go out there and play.

    "Hopefully, he goes out and has a good game and is able to keep his emotions in control, because that's a big challenge for him."

  • Jones won't dissuade Tuilagi from joining Racing Jones won't dissuade Tuilagi from joining Racing

    Eddie Jones will not try and dissuade Manu Tuilagi from turning his back on England by making a lucrative move to Racing 92.

    Tuilagi has reportedly held talks over a move to Paris when his Leicester Tigers contract expires at the end of the season.

    The 27-year-old has forced his way into the England starting line-up after putting his injury woes behind him to make a long-awaited comeback last year, but a switch to the Top 14 would effectively make him unavailable for Test rugby.

    England head coach Jones says only Tuilagi can decide what his future holds.

    "We just have fun about it. [We] give him baguettes, croissants, wear berets. Good fun." the Australian said ahead of England's crunch Six Nations clash with Wales on Saturday.

    "As long as he doesn't get on the Eurostar between now and Saturday I've got no comment on it because all I'm worried about is Saturday.

    "I don't decide what he does for his family. Every player has a family situation they have got to look after and I want them to look after their families.

    "He is in our family at the moment and we want him to play well for us - that is our only concern right now. He's got to make a decision and what decision he makes will be up to him. He's a massively important part of our team. The guys like playing with him, they love him.

    "He loves playing with the team and that is his only concern at the moment."

  • The Breakdown: A statistical look at the third round of Six Nations matches The Breakdown: A statistical look at the third round of Six Nations matches

    England's trip to Wales looks primed to be a pivotal clash in the outcome of this year's Six Nations and the mind games started early.

    Eddie Jones described Warren Gatland's outfit as "the greatest Welsh team ever", although the Wales coach was quick to reject that claim.

    Jones is likely to be trying to deflect pressure and attention away from his side after England installed themselves as tournament favourites with a victory in Ireland followed by a dominant home success against France.

    Wales are the other side with a 100 per cent record in this year's competition, but Scotland and Ireland are still in with a shot at claiming the title and will have a keen eye on events in Cardiff.

    With the help of Opta, we take a statistical look at the third round of matches.

    France v Scotland

    A chastening 44-8 loss at Twickenham left France reeling and a showdown with Scotland no longer provides the historical comfort it once might have.

    France won 15 of their first 16 Six Nations matches against Scotland but have lost two of the previous three.

    Greig Laidlaw will have a personal milestone on his radar, requiring just two points to overtake Gavin Hastings (667) as Scotland’s second top points scorer behind Chris Paterson (809).

     

    Wales v England

    Everything points to a nail-biting clash in the Welsh capital on Saturday, despite England's relative dominance of this fixture.

    Each of the last five meetings between the two in the Six Nations have been won by England, but the most recent four of those triumphs have been by a margin smaller than that of a converted try.

    Wales will have their sights set on a slice of history, knowing that beating England would make it a national record 12 wins in a row.

    Italy v Ireland

    Italy have come away from their first two games empty handed and the omens against reigning champions Ireland do not bode well.

    Ireland have won 18 of their 19 Six Nations games versus Italy, who themselves have been beaten in 33 of their last 34 fixtures with tier-one opponents.

    There is one thing going in the hosts' favour, though, as their last win at the Stadio Olimpico in the Six Nations came in 2013 against Ireland.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.