An unbroken second-wicket stand of 57 between Kraigg Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks carried West Indies to 71 for one, replying to England’s first innings total of 507 for nine declared at the close in the second Test on Thursday here.
Brathwaite was not out on 28 and Barbados Pride teammate Brooks was not out on 31, after English pacer Matthew Fisher collected a wicket with his second ball on debut, and the visitors fortified their position on the second day of the Test at the iconic Kensington Oval.
Left-handed opener John Campbell was caught behind off Fisher for four, nibbling outside the off-stump, and England thought they had a second scalp when Brathwaite was adjudged lbw to left-arm spinner Jack Leach, on 14, but the decision was overturned when a review showed an outside edge.
Earlier, West Indies endured a long, hard toil, and contrasting hundreds from Joe Root and Ben Stokes enabled England to declare about 20 minutes after the tea break.
After a fruitless toil during the morning period, pacer Kemar Roach got Root lbw for 153 after a review overturned a not out verdict from umpire Nigel Duguid.
That was the 236th wicket for Roach in Tests, taking him to seventh on the West Indies all-time list ahead of the Right Excellent, Sir Garfield Sobers, National Hero of the Barbados.
Brathwaite added the scalp of Stokes caught at deep mid-wicket for 120 – his 11th Test hundred – before England conceded three wickets after tea trying to increase the rate of scoring before the declaration.
The Windies have not lost a Test to the English in nearly two decades at Kensington Oval, and they have lost only twice – in 1994 and 2004 – in the history of Tests between the two sides at this ground.
The first of three Tests in this series ended in a draw this past Saturday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, and the final Test will be played from March 24 at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada.
ENGLAND 507 for nine declared (Joe Root 153, Ben Stokes 120, Dan Lawrence 91, Chris Woakes 41, Ben Foakes 33, Alex Lees 30, Jonny Bairstow 20; Veerasammy Permaul 3-126, Kemar Roach 2-68).
WEST INDIES 71 for one (Shamarh Brooks 31 not out, Kraigg Brathwaite 28 not out).