North Sound, Antigua, CMC — West Indies, set 438 for victory, reached 98 for two at the close of the penultimate day of the first Test against England at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium here Thursday.
Gary Balance converted his lunch time unbeaten 92 into 122 while Jos Buttler smashed an unbeaten 59 from 56 deliveries.
Ben Stokes, on 33 not out at lunch, made 35 before missing a charge at left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn and going stumped off the fourth ball after the interval.
He added 60 with Ballance for the fifth wicket.
The left-handed Ballance reached his fourth Test hundred in the seventh over after lunch when he punched Benn down the ground for four.
Along with Buttler, he then went on the attack, clearing the ropes with long on with part-time off-spinner Marlon Samuels before finally holing out to Jermaine Blackwood at deep mid-wicket off Benn.
Buttler, who smashed five fours and two sixes, put on a hasty 52 off 40 deliveries with Chris Jordan (13) before Jordan picked out Darren Bravo at deep mid-wicket off seamer Kemar Roach, a delivery after he was bowled by a no-ball.
Pacer Jerome Taylor finished with two for 42 while Benn picked up two for 115.
England 1st Innings 399
West Indies 1st Innings 295
England 2nd Innings
(Overnight 116 for three)
*A Cook Benn Taylor 13
I Trott wkp Ramdin Taylor 4
G Balance Blackwood Benn 122
I Bell run out 11
J Root b Holder 59
B Stokes st Ramdin b Benn 35
+JC Buttler not out 59
C Jordan c Bravo b Roach 13
Extras (b1, lb6, w5, nb5) 17
Total (7 wkts dec; 86 overs) 333
Did not bat: S Broad, J Tredwell, J Anderson.
Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Trott), 2-20 (Cook), 3-52 (Bell), 4-166 (Root), 5-226 (Stokes), 6-281 (Ballance), 7-333 (Jordan).
Bowling: Taylor 15-5-42-2, Roach 14-1-53-1 (nb2), Holder 17-5-63-1 (w1, nb2), Benn 26-3-115-2, Samuels 15-0-53-0.
West Indies 2nd innings (target: 438 runs)
K Brathwaite c Root b Broad 5
D Smith not out 59
DM Bravo c Jordan b Root 32
M Samuels not out 2
Total (2 wkts, 40 overs) 98
Fall of wickets: 1-7 (Brathwaite), 2-90 (Bravo)
Bowling: Anderson 7-0-26-0, Broad 9-1-27-1, Tredwell 11-6-14-0, Jordan 4-1-16-0, Stokes 5-0-11-0, Root 4-3-4-1.
Position: West Indies require a further 340 for victory.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: Billy Bowden, Steve Davis; TV – Bruce Oxenford.