West Indies vs England: Jermaine Blackwood plays down Ben Stokes clash

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East India vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood played down his encounter with England counterpart Ben Stokes – which required the referees to intervene – on his second of Matchday 3 in Barbados.

Blackwood was out shortly before Dan Lawrence’s counter-tour stumps for 102, but played beautifully in partnership with skipper Kraigg Brathwaite to keep West Indies in the game. In the end they were 288 for four, 219 behind England’s first innings.

When Blackwood was 82, he and Stokes, the bowler, exchanged words and were in close contact, which led to a long conversation between chief referee Joel Wilson, Stokes and Joe Root, the England captain. .

Blackwood and Stokes – who are used to arguing on the pitch – walked away smiling, and the Jamaican was quick to downplay the issue. He said Stokes “likes to come on me” in their previous meetings, and did it again.

“I love playing against Ben Stokes, it’s always great fun,” he said. “I like the battle, it pushes me even more when I strike.

“For a long time Ben Stokes liked coming to me. Bit of a joke. I like him. I think it’s good for cricket. I don’t have a problem with it, and it also boosts my confidence, every time I hear someone talking and coming towards me, it even keeps me more focused. I’m really glad they did that.

“No problem for me. »

Jeetan Patel, England’s spin bowling coach, believes it’s still possible for tourists to push for victory on a flat surface.

“I still think so, everyone saw that he was moving sometimes, a little bouncing, a little spinning, a little backing up,” he said. “I think there’s a huge opportunity to take this game forward. It wasn’t our day – all credit to them, they have the right to play well.

“I think it goes up and down a bit. I wouldn’t say it spins more, but it dries on top. It was a little sticky at first, maybe the rain overnight. Maybe that did a little more first thing.I still think two hot days, there’s a lot to do third session five days.

Lawrence’s final England wicket boosts morale and Patel was impressed by England’s front row spinner Jack Leach, who took a wicket.

“I think he played very well today,” he said. “To be ultra-critical, he might have had a full touch once in a while. He got the ball past the bat, he beat the inside edge, created edges. One of these days , it just didn’t suit him.

“From the outside, that might seem like a good way to put it. But the reality is he’s pretty broken from the job he did today. 34 graft overs after what we did in Antigua, the worm will turn for him. He just has to keep wanting to put those overs.


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