sport news England take six wickets but West Indies build lead of 85 on day two

Rarely can England have bowled so many near unplayable balls and created so many chances yet still ended up in such a perilous position as they find themselves in here after two brutally absorbing days of this second Test.

And never can Stuart Broad have done more in his long career to bowl a side out cheaply yet finish with just three wickets to show for 28 overs of blood, sweat and toil that just about kept England hanging on in this series.

What a battle this was on what, frankly, is a pitch not good enough for Test cricket and how West Indies rode their luck but showed considerable discipline and application to move into to what could already be a decisive lead.

At the centre of it was Broad, the senior bowler left out of three out of four Tests this winter before this game and desperate to prove the selectors wrong and his own assertion that he is bowling better than ever in his long career right.

Broad was outstanding on Friday and could easily have produced one of those defining spells that have won Ashes Tests in Durham in 2009 and Trent Bridge three years ago as well against South Africa at the Wanderers.

That this one did not earn him seven or eight victims was down to a combination of misfortunate, his inability at times to find the right spots to take advantage of wildly uneven bounce and the sheer carelessness of his own fielders.

Broad had three catches dropped, two of them inexplicably by the usually safe Jos Buttler, and grew increasingly animated and frustrated as he beat the bat time and again. 

England took six wickets on day two of the second Test, with Stuart Broad claiming three

England took six wickets on day two of the second Test, with Stuart Broad claiming three

England were unable to remove Darren Bravo who ended unbeaten on 33 after facing 165 balls

England were unable to remove Darren Bravo who ended unbeaten on 33 after facing 165 balls

The restored Broad has, we are told, now had no fewer than 98 catches dropped off his bowling in his Test career, a figure that would have propelled him up close to his partner in England’s greatest opening attack in Jimmy Anderson had they been taken.

As it was, he took his first wicket in 245 balls dating back to Virat Kohli last September when he finally broke through to dismiss Shai Hope, went past Kapil Dev into seventh in the world all-time wicket-takers list when he followed it up in the same over by bowling Roston Chase and added a third with a brute to get rid of Shane Dowrich.

And even though Broad ended a hard-fought day cursing his luck he knew he has conclusively proved that reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated. He remains a force, with his new shorter run and remodelled wrist action, ahead of another Ashes joust with the old enemy.

If that is the good news for England then the bad is they are in real danger of another shock defeat here and a crushing series loss against a West Indies side who have showed themselves to be far, far better than a team trapped at eighth in the Test rankings.

West Indies had more pace than England, mainly through the imposing figure of Shannon Gabriel, took better advantage of the pronounced unpredictability

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