Even before the first ball of the morning it was obvious that watching Stuart Broad keep English hopes alive was going to be compelling.
Stood at the top of his mark at the Sir Curtly Ambrose End, Broad exhorted the crowd, which is 90 percent English rather than Antiguan, to get behind their team and did not stop giving vent to his emotions throughout a long day as he made a point to the selectors who left him out last week.
Broad bowled 21 overs and took three for 32, giving everything in an effort to keep England alive. On another day he would have blown a team away but unlike England, West Indies have shown total commitment to staying in. Darren Bravo, after two years out of Test cricket, batted 164 balls to be unbeaten on 33, Kraigg Brathwaite 156 for 49 so no wonder frustration grew for Broad.
Every outside edge, play and miss or waft was greeted with a short jump and clap of the hands in exasperation at the end of his follow through. He looked to the heavens appealing for divine intervention in the fifth over when one flew from a good length past John Campbell’s bat in a crucial first session. He was bereft with head in hands when Jos Buttler dropped a regulation slip catch off Campbell and soon after his over eagerness led to a pointless shy at the stumps to concede four overthrows off his mate James Anderson. It was the kind of crime for which Broad would have demanded life imprisonment for the offender if he had been bowling.