The West Indies ' brains trust came to the fore on day three of the second Test against England in Barbados, with captain Kraigg Brathwaite and vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood both scoring hundreds as they shared a crucial 183-run partnership.
After the West Indies resumed on 71-1 with Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks building a solid partnership, England got an early breakthrough within the first half hour courtesy of Jack Leach. The spinner, who did find some encouragement on day two, got Brooks caught for 39 when the batter inexplicably slapped a wide delivery straight to Chris Woakes at point.
Nkrumah Bonner, who was named player of the match in the previous Test after a brilliant century, then joined Brathwaite at the crease. However, he only managed nine runs this time, with Ben Stokes getting him out lbw.
It was a controversial dismissal though, with fans and pundits alike split over whether the ball hit Bonner's bat before striking the pad. Ultimately, the third umpire decided there was no conclusive evidence and Hawkeye showed the ball would have clipped the top of the stumps meaning Bonner was sent on his way.
It was a key wicket for England given how well Bonner played in Antigua and the could have had another soon after. In Stokes' next over, he had an lbw appeal against Blackwood turned down by the umpire and England opted against going for a review.
However, replays showed that Hawkeye thought the ball would have hit leg stump and Blackwood would have been out for nought had England reviewed. And the West Indies vice-captain made the most of his lifeline, staging an excellent partnership with Brathwaite.
The pair both battled hard and frustrated England greatly as they gradually chipped away at their lead. Then, with Blackwood on 65, England thought they had their breakthrough after Saqib Mahmood bowled him with a stunning yorker.
However, Mahmood's joy was short-lived when replays showed he had overstepped, handing Blackwood another reprieve. Following the brief moment of joy for England, the two West Indies batters continued to go about their business as Brathwaite brought up his tenth Test century.
Blackwood followed soon after, reaching his third Test ton with a single off Leach. However, his luck eventually ran out shortly before the close of play, when he made a fatal error and left a delivery from part-timer Dan Lawrence that hit him on the pad.
The umpire gave him out lbw and a review failed to save him, with Blackwood falling for 102. Nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph then safely saw out the remaining few overs, with the West Indies finishing the day on 288-4.
Here are five talking points from the day's play.
Bonner's controversial dismissal
The wicket of Bonner was a big one for England, given he batted for a total of 493 deliveries across his two innings' in the first Test. However, it was also a source of major controversy, with replays appearing to show the ball hitting Bonner's bat before his pad.
Although commentator Mark Butcher did note it may simply have been a camera trick, BT Sport pundits Carlos Brathwaite and Steven Finn were adamant Bonner should have been given not out on review. However, third umpire Gregory Brathwaite felt there was no conclusive evidence that the ball had hit the bat before the pad and Bonner was given out lbw.
"It looked as though the ball hit Bonner’s bat but that could be deemed as inconclusive," Brathwaite said. "So does the fact it is inconclusive allow them to roll on or does it mean the benefit of the doubt goes to the batsman?
"I think there is enough evidence to say there is an inside edge." Finn then added: "I think the ball significantly deviates off the inside edge. For me, it's quite clear. We probably shouldn't have needed to go to ball-tracking for that one."
Brathwaite leads from the front
The West Indies skipper showed some form in Antigua, scoring his fastest-ever Test fifty, and he built on that in Barbados with an excellent century. In direct contrast to his innings in the first Test, Brathwaite played much more sedately in Barbados, something fans are more accustomed to seeing from him.
This time, his half-century came off 167 deliveries, making it his slowest ever in Test cricket. He went on to bring up his hundred from 278 balls and finished the day on 109 not out, having helped his side reduce England's lead to 219 runs.
"While we've focused on England's bowling, perhaps we've deflected attention from Brathwaite's typically dogged innings," former England bowler Jonathan Agnew told the BBC. "He's gone quietly about his business, nothing flamboyant. He's played well as the pitch is offering some challenges."
Blackwood cashes in after England errors
He came in for plenty of criticism in the first Test after getting out while playing a ridiculous shot as his side was trying to secure a draw. In the second Test, Blackwood appeared to have learned from his mistake and fought hard on his way to a hundred.
The 30-year-old shared a key partnership with Brathwaite that frustrated England, with the pair putting on 183 runs for the fourth wicket. However, things could have been so different for Blackwood, who made the most of a missed opportunity by England.
Early in his innings, Stokes had an lbw appeal turned down by the umpire and England opted not to review it, believing that the ball would have gone down the leg side. However, replays showed that Hawkeye had the ball hitting leg stump and Blackwood would have been out for a duck had England reviewed.
"There is always a degree of trepidation with reviewing when it comes to the fielding side but they will regret that one, definitely," Finn told BT Sport. And regret it they did, with Blackwood going on to reach three figures after also being gifted a second lifeline by Mahmood.
"Very pleased for Jermaine Blackwood with this 3rd test century," tweeted former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop. "Bit of fortune but that’s ok. He has shown he can trust his defense and play the situation. Probed to many that he is not a one dimensional player."
Mahmood misses out on maiden Test wicket
Despite impressing at times with his ability to extract some reverse swing from the old ball, Mahmood ended the day still searching for his first Test wicket. It was not for want of trying though and he did think he had picked up the wicket of Blackwood during the final session.
The 25-year-old produced an excellent yorker which clattered into Blackwood's middle stump and would have sent him packing for 65. However, replays showed that Mahmood had bowled a no ball and he was denied what would have been a brilliant wicket.
As a result, he joins a growing list of England bowlers who had their maiden Test wicket taken away from them due to overstepping. Stokes notably did so on debut in the 2013 Ashes and the likes of Mark Wood, Tom Curran, Mason Crane and now Mahmood have all done the same since.
Should England have played Parkinson?
Although he may only have picked up the one wicket on day three, Leach was able to extract some real turn at times and that led to some suggestions that England should have picked a second spinner. Matt Parkinson is the only other frontline spinner in the squad and he boasts both an impressive red ball record and the ability to generate great spin.
In first-class cricket, Parkinson has taken 102 wickets at an average of 23.35 and he produced a whole host of stunning wickets last season with deliveries that turned wildly. Speaking on BT Sport, Butcher spoke about whether Parkinson should have been handed his debut in this game and revealed that ex-England captain Michael Atherton said before the Test began that the leg-spinner should have played.
And former England coach David Lloyd echoed that suggestion after day two in his column for the Daily Mail. "England have always been suspicious about leg-spinners," Lloyd wrote. "Maybe captains don’t know how to employ them. But Matt Parkinson is well worth a go.
"I hear people say he can’t field and can’t bat. That is a lazy argument. I’d rather know what he can do — and that is spin the ball both ways. I would have picked Parkinson for the first Test and this one."
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