Cricket Article

Pope Saves England After Early Wobbles in Decisive Test

Pope Saves England After Early Wobbles in Decisive Test Photo: TT
England's Ollie Pope bats during the first day of the third cricket Test match between England and West Indies at Old Trafford in Manchester

Youngster Ollie Pope saved England on the opening day of the Third Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford combining with Jos Buttler to steer the hosts out of trouble.

The West Indies had reduced England to 4-122, before Pope (91no) and Buttler (56no) put together a fifth wicket stand worth more than 100 to finish the day at 4-258.

The forecast for the remainder of the match in Manchester is bleak but England have given themselves a good start to chase a decisive win with the series at 1-1.

Pope, 22, was playing in just his 10th Test match for England and played a key role after managing only 43 runs from his previous four innings in the series, which is being played behind closed doors in bio-secure environment.

“It does feel like a little bit of a weight off the shoulders,” Pope said.

“To be honest, I’ve found it challenging being in such an intense environment.

“I’ve missed out in the first two games and not been able to get away. The hotel overlooks the cricket ground, you cant go out for a coffee, you cant see your family it isn’t easy.

“You can actually think about your batting, your failures, a little more than normal so to get runs is a nice feeling.

“You try to make the nights not seem as gloomy but its hard to get away.”

Dom Sibley fell for a duck to Kemar Roach, before Roston Chase sensationally produced a direct hit to run out Joe Root for 17.

Roach bowled Second Test Player of the Match Ben Stokes for 20 to make it 3-92.

And when opener Rory Burns was caught by big Rakheem Cornwall off Chase at first slip England were in strife at 4-122 but Pope and Buttler steadied.

Pope’s knock included 11 boundaries, while Buttler twice hit maximums. If Pope can reach his century, it will be his second Test hundred.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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