England in West Indies: Tourists claim consolation 232-run victory as hosts win series 2-1

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali took a superb catch at gully to dismiss John Campbell for a duck
Third Test, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia (day four of five)
England 277 (Stokes 79, Roach 4-48) & 361-5 dec (Root 122, Denly 69)
West Indies 154 (Wood 5-41, Moeen 4-36) & 252 (Chase 102*, Anderson 3-27)
England won by 232 runs

England's 232-run third Test victory over West Indies was "massive" and will give them confidence going into a huge summer which includes an Ashes series, says captain Joe Root.

The tourists had already lost the first two Tests in the three-game series but triumphed on day four in St Lucia after bowling out the hosts for 252 as they chased an unlikely 485 for victory.

Roston Chase batted for more than four hours for an unbeaten 102 but James Anderson (3-27) and Moeen Ali (3-99) ensured the consolation win in England's last red-ball match before they play Ireland in a one-off four-day Test preceding August's home Ashes series against Australia.

"This was a really important week for this group. It has been much more what we are about," Root told Sky Sports.

"To play in the manner we have - coming back from two disappointing games - was massive going into what is a really important summer.

"Wining four out of six games is a big improvement on last winter (when England lost 4-0 in Australia and 1-0 in New Zealand), so I think we are moving forward as a team.

"It is nice to finish on a high even though we have lost the series."

England had earlier declared on 361-5 after Root was dismissed for 122.

Chase was the only batsman who withstood England's pressure, scoring his century from 191 balls with 12 fours and one six.

Perhaps the only blight on England's day was a disappointing fielding display, with three relatively simple catches dropped.

Windies falter in final Test

After spending almost three days in the field, and with two days remaining in the game, West Indies needed a strong start when they finally got their turn with the bat.

Instead, they were 10-3 after seven overs, with all three of the side's senior batsmen playing loose drives to be caught behind the wicket off Anderson.

Anderson has been given a heavy workload in the Caribbean and has struggled since taking 5-46 in the first Test, but he spent time on Monday working with bowling coach Chris Silverwood.

He bowled accurately, with John Campbell caught brilliantly in the gully by a leaping Moeen off the third ball of the innings, before Kraigg Brathwaite edged to second slip.

England could have made further inroads had Jos Buttler not dropped Shai Hope at third slip, but Root - at second - was able to cling on when Anderson found the edge of Darren Bravo's bat.

Chase was the mainstay of the innings but he was unable to form partnerships - Shimron Hetmyer was run out going for a third run that was never possible, and Shane Dowrich was caught at slip off a drifting Moeen delivery.

The tail hit out as Chase continued to accumulate, with Alzarri Joseph twice slogging Moeen for six, and it looked as though the all-rounder would miss out on three figures when Joseph was caught at mid-on.

However, he cut Joe Denly's leg-spin to the boundary for his fifth Test century, before an injured Keemo Paul's entertaining six-ball cameo came to an end as he was caught and bowled by Ben Stokes.

England finish on win - but questions remain

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali was England's leading wicket-taker in the series, with 14 wickets at an average of 23.85

It has been a mixed winter for England, starting with an impressive 3-0 series victory in Sri Lanka and ending with several batting collapses and a 2-1 defeat in the Caribbean.

In six away Tests they have used four different opening batsmen and five different number threes, with Jonny Bairstow moving from a top-order batsman to a wicketkeeper batting at seven.

Coach Trevor Bayliss said before the West Indies tour he wanted to establish a settled top three before the home summer begins.

Keaton Jennings scored just 62 runs in four innings at the top of the order and was out in familiar fashion each time, while Denly and Rory Burns made contributions but not a big score.

England collapsed in four of their six Caribbean innings and struggled against the West Indies' pace, which will give Australia's quick bowlers hope before the Ashes series in August.

However, Mark Wood's emergence as a bowler of genuine pace - albeit his speeds were down in the fourth innings in St Lucia - and wickets for Moeen and Stokes adds further confidence to their bowling attack.

There are five months until England's next red-ball outing against Ireland at Lord's on 24 July, which means early runs in the county season will be crucial.

'A lightbulb moment for England' - what they said

Former England captain Alastair Cook: "It is a consolation win but you hope it's the blueprint England take forward and you don't have this inconsistency.

"You hope it's a lightbulb moment: 'this is the way we have to bat in any first innings to win Test matches'."

Ex-England bowler Matthew Hoggard: "It's a fantastic opportunity for county cricketers to get out there at the start of the season and get noticed by the selectors. It's also a wake-up call."

West Indies captain Jason Holder: "We have got to keep improving in the three facets of the game and be clinical and lot more consistent.

"We need to continue to build and not rest on our laurels. Our number one goal is to be the number one team in the world so there is a lot to improve on."

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