July 20 (Reuters) - England declared their second innings on 129-3 to take a crack at the West Indies batting lineup, setting the visitors a target of 312 on the final day of the second test in Manchester on Monday.
England’s declaration means they will have 85 overs — thus giving them a second new ball if required — to bowl out the tourists and level the series.
Resuming on their overnight score of 37-2, Ben Stokes got straight into the action, looking to cart the West Indies bowlers all around the empty stadium and the all-rounder brought up his half century in only 36 balls.
Skipper Joe Root also scored a quick-fire 22 and was run out as he sacrificed himself to get Stokes back on strike. First innings centurion Stokes was unbeaten on 78 off 57 deliveries, which included three sixes, when England declared.
West Indies have a 1-0 lead in the three-test series, which is being played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after winning the first test in Southampton. The third test will also be played in Manchester. (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)