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Blistering Broad puts England on course for series win

MANCHESTER, England – Two blistering spells from Stuart Broad left England in a commanding position to seal a series- clinching victory over the West Indies in the deciding third test.

The Windies closed day three on 10-2 – and still 389 runs from its unlikely victory target – after wickets in successive overs by a rampant Broad in the final half hour at Old Trafford.

Rewind to before lunch on Sunday and it was the paceman who took all four remaining wickets of West Indies’ first innings in 22 balls to skittle the tourists for 197.

A combined 6-22 for the day moved Broad to 499 wickets in his enduring test career. He may have to wait some time to reach 500, though, with rain forecast in Manchester for most of Monday.

Indeed, the weather might be the only thing that can save the West Indies, which is starting to look tired after three tests in three weeks and only one change of personnel in the lineup across that period.

“The wicket still looks good, there are two days left to bat and someone needs to get themselves a big hundred,” West Indies coach Phil Simmons said. “There is plenty of time in the game so we need to be more determined to get big scores.”

In between the West Indies’ innings, England piled up 226-2 in 58 overs before declaring following the departure of opener Rory Burns for 90. Joe Root was 68 not out off 56 balls.

“The weather is definitely the big factor behind the declaration,” Burns said. “I think I might have got another over to try and reach 100 if I´d not got out, but the most important thing is the victory.”

And the opener said he’d be on red alert to help Broad get to what he described as a “pretty ridiculous achievement” of 500 wickets

“I´ll be standing at gully and hopefully I´m going to catch it if he gets a nick,” Burns said. “It´s a nice place to be when his tail is up and he´s bowling like this. You feel every ball is going to come to you. We´ll be standing there waiting to catch it.”

There’s already no doubt who the man of the match will be.

Broad, who is England’s second-highest wicket-taker of all time in tests, was dropped for the first match of the series – won by the West Indies in Southampton – and didn’t take it well, expressing his disappointment in a TV interview during the match.

Restored for the second test in Manchester, Broad took three wickets in each innings in a win for England.

In the third test, he has made his best score with the bat since 2013 – a 45-ball 62 – and took his 18th five-wicket haul in tests in the first innings.

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