Another cracking good Test, this time in Manchester. England opened the batting after being put in by the West Indies, which would end up being a crucial mistake by WI Captain Jason Holder. They put up a magnificent 469, led by Ben Stokes’ 176 and Dom Sibley’s 120. England declared with about an hour left in Day 2, and took a wicket in that hour to set up Day 3, which was a washout. Day 4 saw the Windies battle to stop the follow-on that would have surely doomed them, which they did after tea. West Indies opening bowler Kemar Roach got opening batsman Jos Buttler for a duck and Zac Crawley for 11 to start England’s second innings, but the other opener, Stokes, wasn’t going to be easily moved. He survived to Day 5, and with a little help from Joe Root and Ollie Pope, he extended England’s lead to 316 before another declaration at lunch. I felt like the Windies could stay in for the draw, but the pitch was chewed up at this point, and pretty much everything the England bowlers did was effective. The wickets came quickly, then slowly, then quickly again, and Ollie Pope ended it with the nifty bobbling catch shown above. England won by 113 with an hour to spare. There is one more Test starting Friday to determine the winner (or retainer) of the Wisden Cup.
The T20 World Cup has been officially postponed to 2021. What a shame. It’s such a great event, but COVID in Australia is not getting better.
The IPL is almost certainly going to be held in UAE. UAE has had a strict tourism lockdown since February and the cases appear to be trending down, which is better than India, to be sure. It’ll be the second time the IPL has been played in UAE, with the last time being the beginning 20 matches in 2014 due to the Indian general election.
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