England cruising towards second Test win

England are cruising to victory at 1-65 at tea in pursuit of a modest target of 143 on the final day of the second Test against the West Indies.

James Anderson starred with the ball and in the field, triggering a collapse which saw the home side losing eight wickets for 83 runs, and being dismissed for 307 just after lunch.

His country’s leading wicket-taker in Tests, Anderson made full use of the second new ball in the morning session, removing obdurate opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite for 116 and then adding the other key wickets of Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels to finish with four for 43 off 22 overs.

He also held two catches at mid-off and ran out Jason Holder, the man whose maiden first-class century denied England victory in the first Test in Antigua a week earlier, with a direct hit of the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

That dismissal effectively ended any realistic chance the West Indies had of saving the match and it was left to off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali to finish off the innings by taking the last three wickets.

There was one ray of hope for the Caribbean side when England started their run-chase as Jonathan Trott played on to Shannon Gabriel before he had scored.

However skipper Alastair Cook (37 not out) and Gary Ballance (26 not out) were well-placed at the interval against a West Indies team fast running out of enthusiasm.

Injury was added to insult for the hosts when Holder had to be stretchered off the field in his second over after turning over his left ankle badly at the point of delivery.

The manner in which he was grimacing in pain throughout the experience now raises questions about his chances of being fit for the third and final Test starting in his native Barbados next Friday.

Ironically, the delivery that left him crumpled in a heap on the pitch was pulled by Ballance through the hands of Marlon Samuels at square-leg.

Another moment of luck for the Zimbabwean-born left-hander came just before the interval when Devon Smith failed to hold on to a sharp chance at slip off Samuels.

With 40 overs available in the final session and no hint of rain, England look certain to complete the victory that will ensure their retention of the Wisden Trophy – the symbol of supremacy in Tests between these two teams.

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