Bridgetown (Barbados): England allrounder Ben Stokes is confident his side can win the second Test against the West Indies after the tourists declared their first innings on 507/9 and also took a wicket on Day 2 at the Kensington Oval on Friday (IST).
Stokes, who could not make much impact during the five-Test Ashes before the three-Test West Indies series, slammed a 128-ball 120, including six maximums and 11 boundaries, as the Joe Root-led side will go into Day 3 enjoying a 436-run lead.
Stokes also said that the pitch at the Kensington Oval was ‘good’ and England would be keen to force a result by taking the remaining 19 West Indies wickets.
“We know that the wicket is good, but the pitch is different here from Antigua (first Test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium) because it has a little more carry,” opined Stokes after the match.
The pitch for the first Test was criticised for not being result-oriented after the tame draw.
“It’s (pitch) changed a bit over the last session and a half. Our seamers felt they were in the game,” Stokes was quoted as saying.
Debutant right-arm pace bowler Matthew Fisher struck with the new ball off just his second delivery in international cricket to have John Campbell caught behind and reduce West Indies to 71/1, still 436 runs in arrears with three days’ play remaining.
Back in style
On his century, Stokes said, “You feel pretty good when you get a hundred so it was a good day. Joe (Root) and Dan (Lawrence) set the day up yesterday and allowed the middle order to free their arms.”
The 30-year-old Stokes’ century was his first since returning to the England set-up in late 2021 after taking a long break from cricket due to mental health issues and a finger injury.
“We tried to put pressure back on the West Indies bowlers and it worked out well that we got a little bowl at them this evening,” added Stokes.