Windies bowling coach Roddy Estwick admitted his side’s poor fielding throughout the second Test at Headingley had been “frustrating” but said that the tourists were still hopeful of winning the match. Windies dropped Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow on the fourth day which added to missed chances of Joe Root yesterday and a number in England’s first innings. Those missed chances may have cost the visitors a Test victory.
Malan’s reprieve today, when he was on 32, was the pivotal moment of the day. Captain Jason Holder found the edge but Keiran Powell dropped a regulation chance at first slip. In mitigation, wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich motioned to go for the ball before pulling out which may have put Powell off but it was still a bad miss. Had that been taken, England would have been five wickets down with a lead of less than 50.
“It’s been very frustrating, mainly because we work very, very hard at it,” Estwick said on Monday (August 28). “We continue to make mistakes at critical times. When we dropped Malan today, England could have been 50 for 5. You can’t continue to give good players chances at this level and we really paid for it.”
Later on, Moeen Ali, on 32, was caught behind off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo but the delivery had been called a no-ball by umpire S Ravi. Replays showed that it was a tight call but Estwick did not want to dwell on that decision despite Moeen going on to score another 52 runs, taking the game away from Windies in the final session. Instead, he preferred to look ahead to the task facing the tourists tomorrow.
Windies require another 319 runs to win the game and have all ten wickets remaining. Despite the pitch beginning to show signs of uneven bounce, it’s still playing well enough to suggest to the Windies’ task is not impossible. “We’re still looking to win this Test match,” said Estwick. “We’ve got nothing to lose. We’re still in with a chance. If we can play well enough in the first two sessions, then we’ll assess at tea and see where we’re at.