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  1. England 116-3: Ballance 44*, Root 32*
  2. Tourists recover from 52-3
  3. Cook 13, Trott 4, Bell 11
  4. WI 295: Blackwood 112*; Tredwell 4-47
  5. First Test, day three, Antigua
  6. First innings: England 399

Live Reporting

By Mark Mitchener and James Gheerbrant

All times stated are UK

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And that's where we leave it for the day. We'll do it all again tomorrow - with play starting at 15:00 BST, we'll be back on duty here from 14:30.

Two good sessions could - and should - put England on the brink of a first away Test victory since Kolkata 2012. West Indies need some inspiration from somewhere - I'd expect them to get another pre-match "fire and brimstone" talk from Sir Curtly Ambrose tomorrow morning. Bye for now.

Text 81111

Mel, North London: Just to redress the balance, could you make clear that some England fans love and appreciate Test cricket, are enjoying this match and are hoping England can turn this good position into a winning one?

Review of the day

Apologies for the TMS line going down - you'll be able to download Aggers and Geoffrey's review of the day via the podcast page later.

West Indies began day three on 155-4, still 244 behind England - and while Shivnarine Chanderpaul was dislodged for 46, the rest of the innings belonged to Jermaine Blackwood, who rode his luck a little but forged ahead to compile a maiden Test century. However, he lacked support at the other end as the last five batsmen added just 32 between them, leaving Blackwood high and dry on 112 and England with a first-innings lead of 104.

Sadly, it was the same old story for Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, who both fell cheaply, while Ian Bell may only have himself to blame after a needless run-out. But Gary Ballance (44 not out) and Joe Root (32 not out) have added 64 as West Indies rather lost heart in the last hour or two, and England are now "net" 220-3 in a one-innings match with two days remaining.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Craig Stevanato: 24 overs of spin, 30 mins extra, yet still 5 overs short. Not acceptable. Penalty runs + big fines + bans for captains required. Fans pay to see 90 overs in 6 hours, not 80-odd overs in 6.5 hours.

As you may be aware, TMS's line to Antigua went down just after the close of play - they're working to restore it as soon as possible.

If you missed today's lunchtime feature celebrating James Anderson's 100th Test, "The Real Jimmy" (featuring Graeme Swann, BBC Radio 1's Greg James and Anderson's agent Luke Sutton), it's available on

the TMS podcast page.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Chris Parker: Re: Firas (22:21): Make Root captain as "our best batsman"? Because that's what we thought with Cook, and look what it's done to him.

Jimmy: Drop Cook, play Lyth and make Root captain.

billybunter3rd: Root will be next captain but needs 18-24 months' more experience, which is why selectors want Cook stay 'til then.

West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood on Sky Sports: "It was hard, I took a couple of blows, but that's why it's Test cricket. It's a very big difference scoring a Test century, it's a very important milestone for me. No-one remembers you for half-centuries. I'm looking forward to many more."

On Ben Stokes, whose no-ball reprieved him on the way to his century:

"Ben Stokes and I go back to the 2010 Under-19 World Cup. Ben Stokes is all right, Ben Stokes is my boy."

Jermaine Blackwood
Getty Images

Close-of-play scorecard

England 116-3 (38 overs) - lead by 220 runs

Batsmen: Ballance 44*, Root 32*

Fall of wickets: 15-1 (Trott 4), 20-2 (Cook 13), 52-3 (Bell 11)

Bowling figures: Taylor 8-4-12-2, Roach 9-1-32-0, Holder 7-3-20-0, Benn 9-2-34-0, Samuels 5-0-13-0

First innings: England 399; West Indies 295: Blackwood 112*, Tredwell 4-47

Full scorecard

Well, it was a more entertaining day than yesterday, but it still drifted for long periods. England will start day four "net" 220-3 - and will be aiming, you would hope, for an afternoon declaration to allow them time to force victory.

Crustacean XI

Join the debate at #bbccricket

C.J. Henstock: C.R.A.B. de Villiers would be a shoo-in for the Crustacean XI.

Christo EL: Crustacean XI players tend to go into their shells when going gets tough and then look like fish out of water when they re-emerge!

Close of play

Eng 116-3 (lead by 220)

It looks as though both sides are going through the motions, as Samuels bowls a few wide of Ballance's off stump, he's not too interested until he chips a single off the last ball.

How do you solve slow over-rate problems? Penalty runs? If a team's five overs short, why not give the other team 25 runs - that would soon eradicate the problem.

Eng 115-3 (lead by 219)

Holder bowls a no-ball, never a good start to the over, while far more interesting news is that the Antigua & Barbuda PM has moved on from selfies with Barmy Army fans to selfies with the dancing girls. Oh, the trappings of power... Back on the pitch, some hard running takes Ballance's score to 43, and even though it's only 22:29 by our clocks, it looks as though the players are ready to walk off... until the umpires force them back on.

We're still going to have lost five overs today, despite 24 overs of spin so far today. Hardly cricket's finest hour.


Paul in Spain: Erm, we are 200 runs ahead with seven wickets in hand, what is going so wrong? Why is everybody so down on England? And why is Tredwell with easily the best bowling figures in the first inning being marked for the chop? Have any of these critics ever actually played or even watched live cricket?

Eng 109-3 (Ballance 38*, Root 32*)

The teams, collectively, are going to be about five overs short of their target of 90 today, not that you'd know it from the players' body language... Samuels to continue, but there are wide open spaces in the leg side for Root to pick off a single just about anywhere. A single from Ballance stretches the lead to 213.

Joe Root
Getty Images

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"When you are 100 runs behind, you have no option but to bowl your best bowlers into the ground. The only way you can win is to bowl the opposition out."

Eng 107-3

The Antigua & Barbuda PM Gaston Browne (who was interviewed on TMS earlier) is now posing for pictures with a fan in a Barmy Army shirt. Having leaked plenty of runs with spin on at both ends, West Indies turn back to Jason Holder at the Sir Andy Roberts End, which puts the brakes on a little - but has the game gone away from West Indies in the last hour?

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Firas: Why not make Root captain? Arguably our best batsman and brings a relaxed approach to the team. He can't do worse than Cook...

Tom Tuthill: Will everybody calm down - we are nearly 200 ahead with two days to go. Victory is in the bag.

Ed Smith

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"West Indies won't be in this contest for long if they carry on in this vein."

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon (available in UK only).

Gary Ballance and Joe Root

Eng 107-3 (lead by 211)

More easy accumulation against Samuels, this day's play is ambling towards a conclusion with England firmly in the driving seat. Meanwhile, at the back of the TMS box, it sounds as though Geoffrey Boycott is coming off the long run, giving an update to 5 live listeners...

Crustacean XI


A few more entries for the Crustacean XI we were discussing earlier while Shivnarine "The Crab" Chanderpaul was batting...

Roger Williams, Twickenham: None of the modern crustaceans are a patch on the great Australian from the early days, Clam Hill.

Tom, Herefordshire (and others): You can't have a crustacean XI without including Michael Slater (a slater is a kind of crustacean).

Andrew Rankin: Of course, moules mariniere must have Onions.

Eng 104-3 (Ballance 35*, Root 30*)

A ripple of applause around the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium as Ballance brings up the hundred for England and then the fifty stand, as the ones and twos continue to flow.

While Benn and Samuels bowling in tandem will improve West Indies' over-rate, it'll also give England a nice end-of-day boost of easy runs. 18 minutes remaining of day three.

Eng 99-3 (lead by 203)

Samuels rattles through the rest of his over at the cost of two singles.

As we thought - impact outside the line, and even if it wasn't, it was also an "umpire's call" for hitting the wickets. Ramdin may be sent to remedial "how to use DRS" school at the close of play.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"That's a panic review. The umpires do get some wrong, but generally it has be a thud below the knee roll to be overturned."

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon (available in UK only).

Umpire review

An overly optimistic review from captain Denesh Ramdin as Root is hit on the pad by Samuels attempting a pull shot - the impact looked clearly outside off stump and he was playing a shot...

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James Standen: Let's be honest with ourselves! We are struggling v WI... the Aussies will be 10-0 unless a whole Test gets rained off!

Jamie Taylor: West Indies v Yorkshire...

Eng 97-3 (Ballance 31*, Root 27*)

Root square-cuts Benn, but that's only a single as the fleet-footed Jermaine Blackwood is patrolling the cover boundary. Busy, positive cricket from the fourth-wicket pair means they're picking up ones, twos and even a three with ease - the stand is up to 45, and the lead is up to 201.

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Omnishambles: Supporting England cricket has to be a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

Rachel T: My son is learning cricket at school this term. Needless to say I'm not allowing him to watch this Test.

Eng 92-3 (lead by 196)

A good call from MP Vaughan - as it's going to be Marlon Samuels to bowl his part-time off-spin, inscrutable behind his sunglasses. But his first ball is another freebie, full outside leg stump and Root easily sweeps it for four. England's lead continues to build.

Today's lunchtime discussion "The Real Jimmy", celebrating James Anderson's 100th Test, is available for another listen on

the TMS podcast page.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"The way Sulieman Benn is bowling, I don't know if we'll see him in Grenada. It's too short, there's nothing on it. These two bowlers are releasing all the pressure. Ramdin needs to bowl Taylor and Holder, or if not, Marlon Samuels."

Eng 87-3 (Ballance 30*, Root 18*)

Root drives Benn through the covers, it's half-stopped and they run two. A more fluent cut shot brings the young Yorkshire right-hander (he's still only 24) four, and there are plenty of free runs to be had at the moment. There are three close fielders but Benn's not really bringing them into the game.

Joe Root batting
Getty Images

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"West Indies need to get Kemar Roach out of the attack. They need to build pressure, they need to get wickets. He's bowling slowly, he's bowling with nothing on it, there are too many freebies coming Ballance's way."

Listen to TMS commentary via the audio icon (available in UK only).

Eng 80-3 (lead by 184)

This is not good bowling from Roach, spraying it around either side of the wicket as Ballance helps himself to a four through point and another helped down to fine leg. Frustrating for the Windies after all the control Taylor and Holder showed earlier, that Roach and Benn have allowed England to step on the gas - but in a four-man attack, there's no hiding place. Perhaps the Seaweed Man (see earlier) could turn his arm over?

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Marko Koning: England's number four batsman don't even have time for a cup of tea these days. Another top-order collapse. Worrying.

Thomas Hammond: England are maddening. It would be fascinating to see what goes on behind closed doors in terms of preparation.

Eng 70-3 (Ballance 20*, Root 11*)

Root moves into double figures, helping Benn for two through square leg. Meanwhile, TMS scorer Andrew Samson reveals that England were seven overs adrift of their target by the time they bowled West Indies out - and they've "no excuse" for that according to Michael Vaughan, considering how long spinner Tredwell bowled.

Michael Vaughan

Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

"Joe Root's arrived at the crease and he wants to look busy against Sulieman Benn. Ballance has been very watchful - he's played and missed at a few, but he's seen off the new ball and he's good at using the width and getting that left hand into play."

Eng 68-3 (lead by 170)

After that three-over burst from Taylor, it's time for a third spell from Kemar Roach - and having seen off Taylor, Ballance finds the room to cut Roach for four. 44 minutes left of play today.

Graeme Swann

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"Benn won't mind that six too much, because Root's playing across the line. There's always that fine line when you're a spinner between the shot that you want to see the batsman play, and the shot that you want to see the batsman mess up playing."