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Dowrich, Brathwaite fifties keep West Indies in dominant position
Day Three Report

Dowrich, Brathwaite fifties keep West Indies in dominant position

Half-centuries from Shane Dowrich and Kraigg Brathwaite helped West Indies secure a sizeable lead over England at the end of an eventful third day of the ongoing first Test at Southampton.

Dowrich made 61 while opener Brathwaite managed a useful contribution of 65 in the tourists' total of 318 all out.

England's stand-in skipper Ben Stokes was the standout bowler with an impressive 4-49 as he routinely troubled the opposing batsmen with his bumper barrage and ability to swing the ball sharply into the right-hander.

Despite his heroic efforts, West Indies extended their lead to 114, putting them in a dominant position as England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley survived 10 overs ahead of stumps.

Stokes' fine spell of bowling also accounted for the prized scalp of West Indies' captain Jason Holder - a role reversal for the duo since Holder had dismissed Stokes on Thursday.

Although Holder's wicket threatened to curtail the West Indies innings for a paltry lead, Dowrich held firm and added important runs to his side's total in the company of the tail-enders.

Dowrich's timely knock was a major turnaround in fortunes for him given his past struggles in England during the 2017 tour where he failed multiple times throughout the three-match series.

The bigger question for England, meanwhile, relates to the team management's daring decision to drop veteran paceman Stuart Broad for Jofra Archer and Mark Wood - they collectively returned a solitary wicket in the West Indies innings.

Wood uprooted the middle stump of last man Shannon Gabriel while Archer remained wicketless, indicating that the absence of Broad could perhaps prove to be costly for the home side.

The two pacers were included in the team for their high speeds but their skills were rendered ineffective on the placid surface.

West Indies resumed batting on the third morning under clear sunshine with the score at 57-1 as Shai Hope and Brathwaite steadily piled on runs.

However, Hope fell to off-spinner Dom Bess soon after being given out off a no-ball from Archer, that was observed by the TV umpire on review.

Later, Shamarh Brooks had a lively stay at the crease as he played his flashy strokes in a promising 39 before being entrapped by the guile of England's all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson, who took 3 wickets.

Jermaine Blackwood's aggressive instincts had the better of him when he opted for a rash slog off Bess and ended up smashing the ball straight to Anderson at mid-off.

Roston Chase stabilised the West Indies' ship by digging in and making the bowlers toil hard to get through his defences.

He was finally dismissed for a stubborn 47 off 142 balls, helping West Indies surpass England's first-innings total of 204.