Ben Stokes made the most of a remarkable second chance as his unbeaten 62 inspired England's fightback on day one of the third and final Test against West Indies in St Lucia on Saturday.

The all-rounder had reached 52 when he clubbed a return catch to Alzarri Joseph and was all the way back in the dressing room when replays revealed the bowler had over-stepped.

Stokes returned to the fray - switching places with Jonny Bairstow, who had been on his way out to the middle - and along with Jos Buttler (67 not out), guided the tourists to 231-4 at stumps at the Darren Sammy National Stadium.

That represented an impressive recovery from England, who, at 2-0 down in the series and having been put into bat, were toiling badly once again at 107-4 when captain Joe Root was dismissed in soft fashion for 15 shortly before tea.

But Stokes and Buttler came together for an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 124 as two of England's traditionally aggressive batsmen, perhaps in light of recent criticism of the side's approach, reined in their natural game to guide their team to a strong position.

England recalled Keaton Jennings after he was dropped for the 10-wicket defeat in Antigua, but it was an unhappy return for the opener, who ought to have been out twice before he was removed for a painstaking eight from 43 balls.

West Indies opted not to review when he was trapped in front by Kemar Roach, whose anguish was increased two balls later when Roston Chase dropped a chance at slip.

But the introduction of Keemo Paul - replacing suspended captain Jason Holder - paid immediate dividends as Jennings drove loosely at his first delivery and nicked off.

Paul struck again soon after lunch, Rory Burns falling plumb lbw for 29 to a ball that was crashing into the middle of middle - the Windies needing a review to overturn umpire Kumar Dharmasena's not-out call. 

Joe Denly (20) fell in the next over, pinned by Shannon Gabriel, and England were in strife when Root wafted at a wide ball from Joseph and nicked behind.

Stokes survived an lbw shout on umpire's call early in his innings before he and Buttler set about mounting a recovery, bringing up their respective fifties from 84 and 94 deliveries.

Between those milestones, it looked as though their union had been ended by Joseph's superb catch in his follow-through, only for Stokes to be called back to the middle - a welcome rub of the green for an England side that has been a distant second-best in this series.

West Indies captain Jason Holder was ecstatic after scoring a stunning double century against England in the first Test.

Holder made an unbeaten 202 as the Windies took complete control in Bridgetown on Friday, setting England 628 for victory.

The all-rounder was predictably delighted with his highest Test score, with the tourists reaching 56-0 – needing another 572 runs – at stumps on day three.

"To score a double hundred in front of your home crowd is a very pleasing feeling," Holder said.

"I was ecstatic. It was a dream come true. My friends and family were here to enjoy it, as I really wanted to achieve this from the very start of my career."

England were left in huge trouble in the Test after being bowled out for 77 in response to the Windies' 289 in the first innings.

Jos Buttler said his side had been given a "reality check" during the series opener.

"With the bat we have fallen well below [expectations]. Our aim is to be the number one side in the world and that was nowhere near good enough," he said.

"We have had a good run of games, but when playing abroad it is about adapting to conditions.

"We have to be better at coming through tough situations when guys are bowling well. It is a good reality check as a side about where we are at."

Rory Burns (39) and Keaton Jennings (11) will resume for England on day four.

Brendon McCullum finally rediscovered his form in the Big Bash League with a half-century as Brisbane Heat defeated Sydney Thunder by 15 runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

Ashton Turner's late onslaught was in vain as Sydney Thunder secured a dramatic one-run Big Bash League victory over Perth Scorchers following another Jos Buttler half-century.

Buttler raised his bat for the third time in the tournament, top-scoring with 55 in the Thunder's 142-6 after putting on 82 with Callum Ferguson for the second wicket at Spotless Stadium on Wednesday.

It looked inevitable that the Thunder would claim a third win after back-to-back defeats when the Scorchers lost four wickets in 15 balls, slumping to 54-5.

Captain Turner threatened to pull off an unlikely second win for the struggling three-time champions, but his unbeaten 60 from 36 deliveries was not enough to deny the Thunder.

The Scorchers needed 20 to win from the last over and although Daniel Sams gave them every chance with two wides and a full toss which Turner dispatched for one of two fours in the first four balls, the skipper could not find the boundary he needed off the final delivery.

 

BUTTLER SERVES UP ANOTHER TREAT, ROOT FAILS AGAIN

Buttler led from the front again for the Thunder with another enterprising knock at the top of the order.

The England wicketkeeper-batsman went through his repertoire of strokes, including a reverse swipe for four to reach a run-a-ball half-century.

Buttler also scooped Jason Behrendorff for six, but fell in bizarre fashion clattering his stumps with his bat attempting a switch hit off the economical Jhye Richardson (1-19).

Joe Root is still yet to make an impact, the England Test captain making just five before playing on sweeping Ashton Agar, who also removed the clean-striking Ferguson for 42 from only 30 balls.

 

AHMED SPARKS COLLAPSE, WATSON TAKES STUNNER

The Scorchers found runs hard to come by in their chase, but they were still in with a good chance of getting home at 50-1 in the ninth over with wickets in hand.

That was until Fawad Ahmed snared Michael Klinger leg before to spark a middle-order capitulation and Cameron Bancroft fell in the same fashion to Jonathan Cook for 19 in his second match after serving a ban for ball-tampering.

Shane Watson took a stunning one-handed slip catch to see the back of Agar for a duck and give Ahmed (2-22) a second wicket.

The spinner was celebrating again after running out Hilton Cartwright with a direct hit to leave the Scorchers teetering.

 

SKIPPER FALLS SHORT AFTER TURNING THE TIDE

It looked inconceivable that the Scorchers could chase down a modest target after losing their way so badly but Turner and Will Bosisto (23 from 21) kept them in with a sniff.

They needed 86 from the last eight overs and 43 with just three remaining, but Turner took 10 from the last two balls of the 18th over from Chris Green to get it down to 28 needed from 12.

Just eight runs came from the penultimate over from Sam Rainbird, taking the pressure off Sams - or so it seemed.

Turner dispatched a slower ball to the leg-side boundary and hit a poor fourth ball for four before Sams sent down back-to-back wides, but Turner was unable to make him pay as he could only take four off the final two balls.

Captain Matthew Wade led from the front as Hobart Hurricanes defeated Sydney Thunder to take over top spot in the Big Bash League.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Wade made 85 from 49 deliveries to help the undefeated Hurricanes overhaul their opponents' score of 193-6 and make it three wins from three.

George Bailey produced a late cameo following the departure of his skipper - taking 22 runs off the penultimate over - to see the hosts over the line with seven wickets and five balls to spare at Blundstone Arena.

Jos Buttler had earlier made 89 - the highest score in this season's competition - for previously unbeaten Sydney, who had led the table going into Friday's fixture.

But, having successfully defended sizeable totals in wins over Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers, the Thunder struggled to contain the Hurricanes, not aided by dropped catches in the field and costly no-balls.

 

OPENERS SET THE PLATFORM

Wade combined with D'Arcy Short in an opening stand worth 120 before a mix-up gifted Sydney a wicket at the start of the 13th over, the latter run out having made 58 from 39 deliveries.

Still, the setback did not deter the Hurricanes, with their skipper registering a second successive BBL half-century to keep his team on track.

Sam Rainbird claimed two wickets in the 18th over, following up the dismissal of the well-set Wade - who was caught at third man by Joe Root - by clean bowling Ben McDermott (22), but Bailey's late blitz finished the job.

 

BUTTLER SERVES UP ANOTHER TREAT

Having hit 63 in the Sydney derby last time out, England international Buttler blasted four sixes and eight fours. A century appeared possible until he planted a full toss back to bowler Jofra Archer midway through the 20th over.

Chris Green weighed in with an unbeaten 26 in the closing stages, helping the Thunder set a new benchmark for the highest team score in the 2018-19 BBL campaign.

That was until Hobart's reply, of course, as the Hurricanes - who lost to Adelaide Strikers in last season's final - came out on top in a high-scoring encounter to move two points clear at the summit.

Jos Buttler was the star of the show as Sydney Thunder beat city rivals Sydney Sixers by 21 runs in the Big Bash League on Monday, despite a fine all-round effort from Tom Curran.

England star Buttler thumped six fours and three maximums on his way to 63 from 37 balls at the top of the order.

The Thunder lost their way somewhat after Buttler's dismissal in the 12th over, stumbling to 169-9 as Curran returned 3-24 from four impressive overs and Steve O'Keefe chipped in with 2-27.

However, the Sixers collapsed alarmingly in reply, Fawad Ahmed's three wickets leaving them in disarray at 56-6 after nine overs.

Curran again did his best to turn things around, compiling 62 off 40 balls and sharing 88 for the seventh wicket with Sean Abbott (35 off 28).

Yet the former was dismissed at the end of the penultimate over with 26 runs still needed and the Sixers ultimately finished well short of their target on 148-9.

PLAY IT AGAIN, SAMS

Buttler and Curran may grab the headlines, but Daniel Sams delivered another excellent performance for the Thunder.

Having made 34 and taken 3-5 in his side's opening match against the Melbourne Stars, the all-rounder again contributed significantly with bat and ball on Monday.

He was the only Thunder batsman to shine after Buttler's exit, smashing 28 from just 11 balls, and then chipped in with another three scalps - including Sixers skipper Moises Henriques.

As a result, Sams can celebrate Christmas as the leading wicket-taker in the BBL.

ABBOTT GOES THE DISTANCE

Abbott's admirable defiance in the Sixers' innings came after he had endured a dismal time of things with the ball.

The seamer had 1-18 after two overs, but he was then clobbered for 19 in his third - Sams doing the bulk of the damage - and finished with the painful figures of 1-48 from four.

England completed a first ever Test clean sweep in Sri Lanka with a 42-run victory on day four in Colombo on Monday.

The tourists had set a daunting target of 327 and taken four wickets a day earlier to leave Sri Lanka a monumental challenge to avoid a 3-0 defeat.

Kusal Mendis (86) and Roshen Silva (65) put on a fine century stand to briefly revive the hosts' hopes only for the former to be run out when Jack Leach produced a brilliant direct hit to turn the tide.

Leach (4-72) was also one of the chief protagonists with the ball, breaking the 10th-wicket stand of 58 between Malinda Pushpakumara and Suranga Lakmal to win the game, as England - who had already completed a first win in Sri Lanka since 2001 - earned just a third series sweep away from home.

It took little time for Leach to take care of nightwatchman Lakshan Sandakan (7), but that was England's only breakthrough in a morning session in which Kusal and Roshen showed stoic resistance.

Kusal had failed to go past fifty in his previous 11 Test innings, but showed his expertise against spin with any errors in length being clattered away – a huge six off Moeen Ali (4-92) against just his fourth delivery of the day a particular highlight.

He kept the tempo ticking through to lunch and for the majority of the first hour after the restart but, having narrowly escaped the previous over, a questionable call from Roshen to go for two left Kusal stranded after a fine direct hit from Leach running in from deep backward square.

Leach then had Niroshan Dickwella (19) tickle one into the safe hands of Keaton Jennings at backward short leg, and the same man had a sixth catch of the match when Dilruwan Perera (5) was caught playing off the back foot to Moeen.

Moeen ended Roshen's gritty resistance via a successful review for lbw, before Pushpakumara (42 not out) and Lakmal (11) frustrated England through to tea - the former delivering some lusty blows in an entertaining 40-ball knock.

But Leach brought the match to an end by trapping Lakmal, a review showing the ball would have clipped leg stump, to start the England celebrations.

Jos Buttler made a classy 64 and Sri Lanka lost four late wickets as England closed in on a 3-0 Test-series sweep at the end of day three in Colombo.

The hosts had made the fast start they needed after being bowled out for 240 on Saturday as Dilruwan Perera (5-88), who became the quickest bowler to take 100 Test wickets in Sri Lanka, tore through the top order to leave England reeling at 39-4.

The typically aggressive Buttler led the recovery and his fifth-wicket stand of 89 with Ben Stokes (42) put the brakes on Sri Lanka's revival, while a couple of costly no-balls from Lakshan Sandakan hindered the home side and left captain Suranga Lakmal with his head in his hands.

After England were bowled for 230 to set a victory target of 327, Moeen Ali claimed Danushka Gunathilaka and the crucial wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne either side of Jack Leach snaring Dhananjaya de Silva.

Stuart Broad then took a fine catch as Angelo Mathews fell into Stokes' trap to leave Sri Lanka 53-4 and facing a monumental task to avoid a whitewash.

The scratchy batting that has characterised previous England tours of Asia reared its ugly head in a tumultuous opening 70 minutes that yielded just one boundary from Jonny Bairstow.

Dilruwan skidded one through that trapped Keaton Jennings (1) with the first ball of the day, with Rory Burns (7) soon following in similar circumstances and Bairstow (15) became the spinner's third victim via a sharp take at short-leg from substitute fielder Kaushal Silva.

Joe Root (7) then punched one back to left-armer Malinda Pushpakumara as England threatened to unravel.

Things would have been worse had Sandakan not overstepped when Stokes, on 22, drove to extra cover and the the all-rounder survived again off the same man after edging to slip when on 32 thanks to another no-ball.

When Niroshan Dickwella failed to hold an edge off Buttler, who had already overturned an lbw review, the tide had truly turned in England's favour.

Buttler deserved huge credit for making it so, coming down the track to disrupt the spinners and scoring at just under a run-a-ball, including three boundaries in the space of four deliveries from the luckless Sandakan.

The stand with Stokes was ended when the all-rounder hoicked one to long-on before Buttler was stumped as Sandakan gained a measure of revenge.

Moeen (22) and Adil Rashid (24) added valuable knocks, before Ben Foakes made a patient 36 off 82 until Leach (0) became Dilruwan's landmark wicket to end the innings.

The final hour proved just as fruitful as Gunathilaka (6) prodded to slip off Moeen, who cleaned up Karunaratne (23) with a beauty after Leach trapped Dhananjaya (0) lbw, and a fine day was capped as Broad expertly ran in from midwicket to snaffle Mathews (5) just above the ground.

England have made the tough call to leave Jonny Bairstow out and name an unchanged team for the second Test against Sri Lanka, which starts on Wednesday.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow missed the first match of the series, a game England won impressively by 211 runs in Galle, after suffering an ankle injury during the limited-overs leg of the tour.

His absence offered an opportunity to Ben Foakes, who marked his international debut by scoring a century in the first innings while also impressing with his work behind the stumps.

Captain Joe Root had already announced Foakes would retain his place but Bairstow - who averages 37.19 in his Test career - has also missed out on selection as a frontline batsman in Pallekele, with England opting to go with the same XI.

"Having had a good look at the surface today, we feel the side that won the first Test will give us the best opportunity for us to get something out of this Test," Root said on the eve of the match.

"The surface is dry and it will spin. The balance of the team is ideal for these conditions. We can also adapt, if the situation dictates, as we showed in Galle."

Root confirmed the fit-again Bairstow was available and, despite being left out on this occasion, still remains an "integral" part of the team's plans.

"[Coach] Trevor [Bayliss] and I have spoken to him about finding the right balance for this Test with the conditions we are expecting," he added.

"He understands the situation and is aware that we have to pick the side that are best suited to conditions we can expect. It is unfortunate that he missed out through injury in the first Test.

"He is an integral part of our plans and is a key member of our core squad and his experience around the group is important."

However, while it will be the same XI on duty, England's skipper revealed there will be alterations to the batting order, with Ben Stokes pushed up to number three and Jos Buttler to come in at five, one spot ahead of the demoted Moeen Ali.

"We are in a fortunate position that many in the side could bat in that position," Root said. 

"Ben's technique is sound and he will be able to adapt to this role. He is one of the fittest guys in the side, so the intensity of batting in the top order and bowling as one of our three seamers will not faze him.

"If we feel that he has done a tremendous workload with the ball, then we can adapt and alter the order if it's necessary, but I don't expect that to happen.

"Ben is relishing the added responsibility of doing a job at three."

Keaton Jennings crafted a long-awaited century as dominant England piled on the runs before declaring late on day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Jennings had not made an international hundred since his debut against India almost two years ago, but scored a magnificent unbeaten 146 on another one-sided day.

The opener was under pressure to prove he merits a place in the side and he delivered on Thursday, carrying his bat as England declared on 322/6 to set Sri Lanka 462 to win.

Jennings - who would have been out for 58 if Sri Lanka had reviewed an LBW appeal - and Ben Stokes (62) combined for a century stand on a gruelling last day in the field for retiring spinner Rangana Herath (2-59).

Dimuth Karunaratne and Kaushal Silva saw Sri Lanka through to 15 without loss at the close, but they will be praying for rain as England have two days to complete a first away win in over two years.

Rory Burns (23) failed to cash in on a good wicket when England resumed in a commanding position, Karunaratne ending an opening stand of 60 with a direct hit when the debutant went for a quick single.

England were 74/3 after Moeen Ali struck Dilruwan Perera (2-94) straight to Herath, who then claimed the scalp of captain Joe Root caught behind in the veteran spinner's final international.

Jennings brought up his half-century with one of many sweeps and had a stroke of luck when he was given not out when trapped in front by Dilruwan but Sri Lanka opted not to review.

Stokes went on the attack in the afternoon session, disdainfully launching Dilruwan and Akila Dananjaya for six before slapping the latter through the covers to reach his half-century.

The all-rounder smashed another Dananjaya off-break over the ropes again to bring up the century stand, but was bowled by a peach of a Dilruwan delivery which pitched outside leg stump and hit off.

Jos Buttler (35) showed his usual aggressive intent by dispatching Dananjaya for a straight six and had a life from the following delivery, while Jennings continued to find the gaps before the runs dried up when he moved into the 90s.

The opener finally punched the air and jumped for joy after working Dananjaya into the leg side for a single to take him to three figures just after tea. 

Dananjaya took more punishment when a Jennings drive struck him on the thumb as he attempted to take a sharp caught and bowled chance before Buttler became Herath's 433rd and final international victim.

Ben Foakes (37 from 34) was in great touch after his first-innings hundred on debut, using his feet superbly to hit Dilruwan for six and strike Dananjaya for back-to-back maximums.

Jennings and Foakes put on 61 for the sixth wicket before the wicketkeeper-batsman holed out and the Sri Lanka openers prevented any damage from being done following Root's declaration.

Jos Buttler "feared the worst" for Pathum Nissanka after he took a blow in England's disrupted tour match draw with a Sri Lanka Board XI, where Ben Stokes also suffered an injury scare.

Joe Root revealed Jos Buttler is likely to keep wicket in the first Test against Sri Lanka as England give Jonny Bairstow time to recover from injury.

Sri Lanka inflicted England's heaviest ODI loss after coming out on top by 219 runs on the DLS method in the fifth and final match in Colombo.

Joe Root says being Test captain has not had a negative effect on his batting after Shane Warne suggested he should be replaced by Jos Buttler. 

England have included uncapped seamer Olly Stone in their squad for the ODIs with Sri Lanka, while Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will also be part of the touring party despite their upcoming hearings. 

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