England is standing on the verge of sealing the three-match Test series against West Indies, 2-1. As the fourth day's play commence, the Caribbeans are trailing behind England by 389 runs. Just before stumps on day three, the visitors had lost two wickets in exchange for just 10 runs.
Under the wet conditions of Manchester and on a swing friendly pitch, it would be just a matter of time before the Windies batting line-up crumbles. The English fast bowling unit, spearheaded by Stuart Broad and James Anderson, proved too lethal for the visitors to tame.
34-year old Broad has already claimed 499 Test wickets. On the fourth day of the third game, he would aim to dismiss at least one more opposition batsman to become only the second English bowler ever to claim 500 wickets. The first bowler to have achieved the feat for England was none other than 37-year old Anderson.
So far, Broad has taken eight wickets in this match, with six dismissals in the first innings and two in the latter. Before this game, he also picked six wickets during the second Test.
It was clear that the stellar paceman was eager to answer his critics after he was dropped from the English line-up for the first game. Eventually, the hosts lost that match in Southampton. The platform was set for Broad in Manchester, where both the second and third matches were scheduled. The 34-year old didn't fail to seize the opportunity.
According to BBC, former England captain Michael Vaughan said, "Because Stuart Broad has had to always be around James Anderson it's been Anderson then Broad. But what Stuart has achieved is remarkable. He's had some low moments in the last few years, where his rhythm and pace have been done. Maybe lockdown has done the trick for him - a time to just think about things, where he's at and what he wants to achieve in his career. The way he's been bowling, he's guaranteed to reach 500 Test wickets in this match."
West Indies hasn't won an away Test series against England in the last 32 years. After they won the first game of this tour and went 1-0 up, the Caribbeans were hoping to create history by winning another match. But as the competition resumed in Manchester, England's 2019 World Cup final hero Ben Stokes rose to the occasion, similar to what he does in most vital games. His patient batting in the first innings and destructive play in the second allowed the hosts to level the series.
And now, in the third game, it is Broad who has not only proved ferocious with the ball but also scored the third-fastest half-century for England in Tests. His fifty came in just 33 balls that helped the Brits to post a respectable total in the first innings. Broad eventually ended with 62 runs off 45 balls.