West Indies on verge of stunning series win over England

March 26 (Reuters) – West Indies were on the brink of a stunning series victory after Kyle Mayers weaved his medium pace bowling magic, picking up five wickets to leave a shell-shocked England on the ropes at stumps on day three of the third test in Grenada on Saturday.

Only a miracle can save England, 10 runs ahead with two wickets in hand in their second innings, and 103 for eight at the close.

On a day that went from bad to worse for England, Mayers finished with figures of 5-9, his victims including the prized scalp of England captain Joe Root.

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Mayers did not even play in the first two drawn tests but was brought in for Grenada when West Indies decided to go without a specialist spin bowler.

The visitors dug themselves into a hole by taking 65 runs to mop up the final two first-innings West Indies wickets in the morning session.

A maiden test century by wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva lifted the hosts to a 93-run lead and they pressed home their advantage in the second session, quickly reducing England to 39 for four.

Mayers got his first wicket when he had Root caught at first slip for five, and he subsequently sent Dan Lawrence packing with a ball that clipped off stump after the batter left it alone.

Ben Foakes was run out for two when a bullet throw from the deep from Mayers beat the despairing batter.

Root, watching on from the pavilion, could only bury his head in his hands as the reality of impending defeat set in.

Earlier, Da Silva, looking far more capable with the bat than the average No. 8, added 46 runs to his overnight score, finishing unbeaten on 100.

The 23-year-old from Trinidad displayed a confidence matched by his competence. Making nearly all his runs on the legside, he brought up his century with a Twenty20-style slash for four straight down the ground from Craig Overton.

Da Silva was understandably ecstatic and, with the very next ball, appeared to be out caught-behind.

Seemingly convinced he had nicked the ball, Da Silva called for a review only because it was the final wicket and there was nothing to lose.

He walked off the field and was as surprised as anyone when he had to return after the review showed the ball had missed the bat and struck his hip instead.

Overton’s temper boiled over in an exchange with No. 11 Jayden Seales but things calmed down and Root finally ended the innings when he had Seales caught-and-bowled for 13 in the next over.

The England wickets were shared around by the pace attack, with Chris Woakes picking up 3-59, while Saqib Mahmood, Ben Stokes and Overton claimed two apiece.

Mahmood was perhaps the pick of the England attack in only his second test.

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Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Clare Fallon

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

source: reuters.com