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  1. Root unbeaten on 118, Buttler on 4
  2. Ballance 77, Cook 76, Trott 59
  3. Samuels gives Stokes amusing send-off
  4. Second Test in Grenada

Live Reporting

By James Gheerbrant and Stephan Shemilt

All times stated are UK

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So we'll leave it there. Alastair Cook may not have ended that long wait for a hundred, but the even longer delay for an England victory overseas looks in a good shape to be cut short. See you tomorrow.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"The West Indies toiled, it was difficult for them. Gabriel gave everything and was spirited but poor Bishoo has bowled 41 overs already. That's too much for a young kid. He stuck at it well but Roach and Holder showed no penetration, they wouldn't worry my mum."

And that is the situation - England 74 ahead with four first-innings wickets remaining. A match-winning position? We'll go a long way to answering that question tomorrow.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"It's a declaration job tomorrow - Cook can tell them to crack on, get as many as they can, a lead of 150, but I don't think he needs too many. When West Indies have to go in and bat for four sessions, they will think they can get past England and that's when they'll play shots to get out. It's not hard to knock off 100 on the last day."

But Root remains, in the company of the exciting Jos Buttler. It will be their job tomorrow to survive the early going, then extend England's lead as far and as quickly as possible. The tourists will need as much time as possible to bowl the Windies out on a placid pitch.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

Marlon Samuels

"The Samuels salute to Stokes was all right because it is banter and fun; it has happened throughout history. It is the personal abuse that has to stop. That is not punishable - it was funny. It is the nasty things that the ICC have to get rid off, not this sort of thing."

Moeen Ali looked for a single when the ball had hardly left the pitch and was run out, then Ben Stokes arrived to resume his duel with Marlon Samuels. It did not end well for the Durham all-rounder. A Bishoo long hop held on the boundary, Samuels saluting the batsman as he trudged off. One of the great send-offs and the moment of the day.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"I know teams don't like changing their batting line-up, but I would have sent Jos Buttler in ahead of Moeen. He would have had an hour, and he could have taken 10 or 15 balls to get going and the scoreboard would have rocketed along after that. I don't see how the left-hander Stokes gets in above Buttler - it's a stereotype that batsmen and all-rounders come in before the keeper but this lad is different, he's got special talent. He should bat higher."

Root was undeterred, going through to his sixth Test ton and first overseas. At the other end, though, all sorts of fun and games unfolded.

Root added the ooomph, sparking partner Gary Ballance into life too. Runs flowed either side of tea, both men strong on the cut, Root happy to get on the pull. Centuries were for the taking, but Ballance was undone by Marlon Samuels' slowest ball of the day.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

Joe Root leaves the field
Getty Images

"The best batting came from Root, he created momentum when he came in with good batting. He was not looking to smash fours, he was busy for ones and twos and put the fielders under pressure. He played wonderfully and he has found his niche at five. He really did not put a foot wrong today."

All eyes were on Cook in the afternoon, looking for that first ton in almost two years. It wasn't to be, chopping on for 76, with Ian Bell doing the same. England stuttering. Enter Joe Root.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"Both Trott and Cook were on for a hundred, but they batted nicely and it takes a lot of pressure off for them. They'll be very happy. Gary Ballance was safe, steady and he's a great leaver of the ball. He didn't rush - he never does, but he's a part opener at three. He knows his areas where he can score and he's a safe number three."

Cook's progress and that of new opening partner Jonathan Trott was painstaking in the morning session, stifled by some accurate West Indian bowling. In the end, Trott was undone by the leg-spin of Devendra Bishoo, edging to gully after making a half-century in his second match back in the side.

Geoffrey Boycott

Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

"From England's point of view it was an ideal day. In the sun, they batted well and they have scored at a quicker rate than West Indies. I think Cook and Trott played nicely last night and today. The way they both played, with a straight bat, on a low slow surface was very good."

Could it have been better for England? Perhaps, but they have still added 299 in the day. They may well have liked to have seen Alastair Cook notch three figures, but the wait for that elusive century goes on.


Praveen: I hope Stokes learns that you don't need to be abusive to get wickets. That send off sounds hilarious.

Player reaction

England centurion Joe Root, speaking to Sky Sports: "It's a nice feeling but we need to kick on tomorrow. There is plenty of batting left in that dressing room and hopefully we can get a big score. The more I make over 100 the better, it will help us to win things. I feel good, my movements are good and you have to cash in because blips happen in a career."

Joe Root leaves the field
Getty Images

Root leads the players off, raising his bat to acknowledge the applause of some sunburned England fans. His sixth Test hundred added impetus to the England innings when it was needed in the afternoon session. If he and Buttler bat for half an hour in the morning, they will be given a licence to entertain.

Final scorecard

England 373-6 (124 overs) - lead by 74

Batsmen: Root 118 (165 balls, 13 fours, two sixes), Buttler 4 (17)

Fall of wickets: 125-1 (Trott 59), 159-2 (Cook 76), 164-3 (Bell 1), 329-4 (Ballance 77), 335-5 (Moeen 0), 364-6 (Stokes 8)

Bowling figures: Roach 24-4-77-0, Gabriel 19-3-60-2, Holder 18-6-49-0, Bishoo 40-10-121-2, Samuels 21-4-38-1, Blackwood 1-0-14-0.

West Indies 299 all out - Samuels 103, Broad 4-61

Full scorecard

Close of play

Eng 373-6

And that is that. Jos Buttler covers up the final over of the day, delivered by the show-stealing Marlon Samuels. Comedy salutes aside, it has been England's day, mainly thanks to an unbeaten century from Joe Root. He has taken his country to 373-6, a lead of 74. Tomorrow, they will push for victory.


Tom in Stoke: Interesting how prior to this match, England's top order was under scrutiny, whilst the middle order was heavily praised. Today's scorecard reads quite the opposite, funny old game eh?

Eng 372-6 (Bishoo 41-10-124-2)

Bishoo with his final over of a day that has involved a lot of work. Still the soundtrack comes from the band - they will sleep well tonight, too. Buttler looks to hit through the off side as Root, who has swapped his helmet for a cap, watches on. Last over coming up.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

John Warrington: Just imagine if Stokes gets Samuels in the second innings.

Gareth Rees: I am the only one that thinks sledging doesn't show a competitive instinct, it just makes you look and sound a bit childish?

S. P. Cooper: England should have an almighty swing now and declare overnight. Be brave; go for the win!

Eng 369-6 (Root 116, Buttler 2)

As usual at this time, the sun has dipped behind the stands, meaning that the whole ground is shrouded in shadow. Still the send-off king Marlon, throwing himself a catch and moving fielders here and there. I wonder how keen Ben Stokes is to bowl at him in the second innings. I wonder what he might say to him if he gets him out? Also, did the rest of the England team find that as funny as the rest of us? They might have been trying to contain their laughter as Stokes, who has had some anger issues in the past, returned to the dressing room.


David Jacobs in London: A truly immature shot from Stokes and a truly immature reaction from Samuels.

Eng 368-6 (3 overs remain)

The Samuels send-off gets better every time I see it. Better than any verbal volley he could have come up with. I wonder if Stokes will be waiting for him on the car park later on. Anyway, back to the action, where England have lost their momentum somewhat. Is the plan now to play for the close? They will want Root and Buttler there in the morning for a push of the accelerator.

Join the debate at #bbccricket

Thomas Bonser: Solid banter from Marlon Samuels saluting Ben Stokes off the pitch pretty sure the guys fielding in a pair of Ray Bans as well.

Matthew Warne: Best thing I've seen on a cricket field in yonks Marlon Samuels - Daddy Cool.

Greg: Lovely send off by Samuels after he was abused so much when he batted.

Eng 365-6 (lead by 66)

Have you ever known a better send-off than that? Replays show how Samuels stood statuesque, like a marine, holding the pose as Stokes was forced to march past. For his part, Stokes had a word, but resisted the urge to wrap his bat around Samuels' neck. Jos Buttler the new man, the unusual sight of a badgeless helmet on his head. Samuels now has the ball, Root taking a single. Four overs left in the day.

Graeme Swann

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"It was a poor dismissal and Samuels ran 15 yards to give Stokes a send-off. I think he did quite well not to do anything untoward in return. I am quite shocked England have not sent in a nightwatchman and Buttler has been sent out."

WICKET - Stokes c Blackwood b Bishoo 8 (Eng 364-6)

Ben Stokes

This is absolutely extraordinary. Ben Stokes has completely fallen on his sword, pulling a Devendra Bishoo long hop straight down the throat of Jermaine Blackwood on the leg-side boundary. If that's not bad enough for the England all-rounder, Marlon Samuels pulls out of the greatest sends-off I have ever seen. He runs 15 yards, waits on the line that Stokes must pass to get to the pavilion and silently salutes. Very, very funny.

Eng 364-5 (6 overs remain)

In all of the kerfuffle at the other end, Joe Root has ticked along, this time nudging the single that gives the people what they want, more of Marlon v Ben. "Yeah Marly, yeah Marly," is that chat from behind when Stokes fails to line up the offie. "One-trick Charlie, here." Stokes is doing his best to give Samuels some leather, but can't free his arms. In the end, he gets a single thanks to an overthrow.

Text 81111

James in Kent: Why curse Cook and Root with captaincy? Why not pick a good captain instead? How many runs do good field placings save and how many wickets the right tactics buy? A good captain need only be average in stats if you take this on board, but instead England insist on converting great players into poor scorers and still end up with mediocre captains.

Eng 361-5 (Root 112, Stokes 6)

"Catch iiiittttt," is the cry as Ben Stokes miscues a pull shot off Bishoo. It lands safely on the leg side and Stokes gets away with one. In the stands, various parties are happening in the evening sunshine. The locals tap the beat, while the Barmy Army tell us that they are "mental and mad". Stokes continues to line Bishoo up over the leg side, but he's barely getting the ball off track. Maybe play for the close, Ben?

Graeme Swann

Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

"It's interesting between Stokes and Samuels because Stokes will want to smash Samuels for six to tell him to shut up and that is exactly what the bowler will want. It is a real battle of wills."

Eng 357-5 (lead by 58)

Jos Buttler, padded up as the next man in, waits with his chin on his hands as Marlon Samuels growls an appeal against Ben Stokes. Not out, a run taken, bringing the two together at the non-striker's end. Words. "I say Marlon old chap, us falling out is rather silly. Why don't you let me buy you a cold beverage after play?"

Eng 353-5 (Root 108, Stokes 2)

All of today's overs were supposed to be bowled by 22:15, but with nine to go after this, we'll be over-running. Leggie Bishoo in the lengthening shadows, Joe Root's slog sweep going straight up but landing safely at long-on. They run a couple, Root having to do it without his bat, which has been dropped on the pitch. There's always something comical about a batsman running without his bat. Part baseballer, part Michelin man.

Joe Root stats graphic
BBC Sport

Eng 349-5 (lead by 50)

That double-wicket blow may prevent England from reaching a lead of 100 by the close. The chances are they will have spin all the way, played out against the backdrop of Marlon v Ben. That battle resumes as two larger ladies shakes their hips in the stands. Good rhythm. Stokes looks for the reverse sweep, missing, but no danger. Scoring has slowed.