England entered the third test at Lords with the series tied 1-1. They were outplayed by a resurged West Indies in the second test and were under pressure as it would have embarrassing for them to lose a series at home to a West Indian side that is ranked number 8 in the ICC Test Rankings.
The West Indies managed just 123 in the first innings as Ben Stokes rocked them with 6 quick wickets. The West Indies fought back well and had England at 7-128 before that Ben Stokes decided to show why he is considered one of the best all-rounders in the game today. He made a crucial 60 of 74 balls and Stuart Broad also hit some lusty blows in his 38 to give England a vital 71 run lead.
Anderson Crosses 500 Test Wickets
The West Indies continued to struggle in their second innings as James Anderson ran through their top order and took 7 wickets in the second innings to bring his match total to 9 wickets. In doing so, Anderson also crossed the 500 test wicket mark and is now 6th on the all time list behind West Indian great Courtney Walsh. The West Indians were bowled out for 177 and only young S Hope showed any resistance with a fighting 62.
England had to chase down just 107 in their second innings and managed to do that comfortably for the loss of just one wicket. Ben Stokes was awarded the man of the match for his brilliant performance with both bat and ball why the man of the series award was shared between veteran spearhead James Anderson and S Hope.
England Must Address Flaws Before The Ashes
England captain Joe Root will be happy with a series win and will celebrate with the boys but he knows that England have a number of chinks in their armor that they must address before they head to Australia to play the Ashes.
Their biggest weakness is their batting as they have suffered a number of batting collapses in recent times and have had to rely on their lower order to bail them out. They will once again rely heavily on Anderson and Broad as they head into the Ashes but if one of them breaks down, they could be in trouble as the rest of the pacers are very inexperienced. The final issue that they must address is the slip catching of former captain Alistair Cook. They cannot afford to drop so many catches in Australia and they need to decide if they are going to back Cook to remain in the slips!