Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Day In Focus - England win by nine wickets

Day In Focus - England win by nine wickets

"It's something that the selectors will sit down and think about but I'm really pleased that the two lads at the top of the order, the way they went out and were ruthless, to go and chase a tricky little target down, to show composure and be the two guys not out to win a game for England was great to see and I think it shows where the mentality of the dressing room is right now". Those may not be numbers to make Australia tremble but, when supplemented by the confirmed abilities of players such as Anderson, Ben Stokes (Man of the Match at Lord's) and Root himself, it gave the captain cause for optimism.

James Anderson took the best innings figures of his Test career as England were set a target of just 107 to win a three-match series against West Indies 2-1 at Lord's on Saturday.

Shai Hope, whose twin hundreds were the backbone of West Indies' series-levelling win at Headingley, top-scored in this innings with 62. It may not have provided West Indies with a winning score but it served further notice of Hope's burgeoning talent.

Chase was out for his overnight three and West Indies were 94 for four.

- Has gone on to take five wickets in an innings on 23 occasions, behind only Sir Ian Botham and Sydney Barnes among Englishman.

Anderson's return just surpassed his previous best in 129 career Tests of 7/43 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in 2008. But despite the improved batting conditions, it only needed four balls for Anderson to strike. And they failed to add to that before the leader of England's attack struck with the fourth ball of the day, Roston Chase the victim of a handsome delivery that he edged behind to Jonny Bairstow.

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But Holder, West Indies' captain, suggested that, apart from Bravo and perhaps Gayle, he "didn't think there's anybody interested in playing Test cricket that we can call upon".

England approach it in decent fettle and probably better placed than they were at the start of the summer. Anderson, fresh from breaking the 500-wicket barrier and having switched to bowling from the Nursery End due to his pair of warnings for running on the pitch on the second evening, was immediately into his work. Yet within a couple of years, Anderson had been relegated to the role of a "net bowler" with England, delivering countless balls at cones in practice sessions.

Anderson should have had another wicket when Jermaine Blackwood, on two, mistimed a drive only for Broad to drop the catch at mid-off. But Dowrich fell for 14 - his first double-figure score this series - when trying to pull a Toby Roland-Jones delivery that climbed off a length, succeeding only in splicing an easy catch to Broad at mid-on.

West Indies' lead at that stage was 52 but Holder played with composure to help add 30 more before the break.

Shane Dowrich was then given a reprieve on nought when Broad, in a series littered with dropped catches, failed to hold a diving caught and bowled chance.

Speaking to BBC's Test Match Special, Trevor Bayliss, the head coach, said that the next selection meeting at the end of this month will mean "two or three" positions would be discussed - alluding to those of Tom Westley, Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan - but said he could not see the panel looking outside players used in the last 12 to 18 months. When we sit down and critique each series, we just try to look for improvement.

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