Joe Root
Root made his sixth Test match century in Grenada.Getty Images

Joe Root's first overseas Test century helped to put England in firm command against the West Indies after day three of the second Test in Grenada.

England lead by 74 going into day four with Root (118 not out) and Jos Buttler (4 not out) at the crease after a day which saw the hosts' bowlers put to the sword and the tourists close on 373 for 6.

Alastair Cook's wait for a Test century continues after he was bowled by Shannon Gabriel for 76, while Jonathan Trott (59) made his first half century since returning to international cricket and Gary Balance made 77.

Ian Bell (1), Moeen Ali (0) and Ben Stokes (8) all failed to make an impression but that did not prevent England pilling on the runs ahead of an expected declaration on day four.

The main concern facing England remains the surface at St Georges which after offering plenty for the bowlers on day one and day two, is starting to look one-paced.

It gives West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin hope his side can salvage a draw for a second straight match after a third day where his team were dominated from the outset.

Cook and Trott resumed on 74 without loss and put on another 49 - reaching their first century stand as an opening partnership - before the latter departed after succumbing to Devendra Bishoo.

Runs were coming slowly for Cook and soon he was out, short of a first three-figure score in Tests since 2013 again as he dragged on off Gabriel.

Bell went two overs later off Gabriel before Ballance and Root pressed on during the fulcrum of the day, with the overcast conditions of the first two days a distance memory, and they put on 165 in 41 overs for the fourth wicket.

Marlon Samuels got the break-through out of nothing to end the misery for West Indies, and the scalp brought with it a flurry of late wickets with Ali run out without scoring and Stokes holing out to Blackwood off Bishoo.

The Durham all-rounder's dismissal was met with a patronising salute from Samuels, who had complained of sledging from the England player on day one, but it was a rare highlight for a West Indies side for whom victory is once again a distant ambition after Root's sixth Test match hundred.