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England finally show some determination to hit the ball as Crawley and Root set up the tourist to shoot for an uncertain victory

ZAK CRAWLEY and Joe Root have finally banished England’s miserable winter – to establish a real chance of Antigua sunshine.

A second great partnership blossomed into brutal belligerence when the long-suffering Barmy Army could finally begin to smile.

Zak Crawley celebrates with England captain Joe Root

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Zak Crawley celebrates with England captain Joe RootCredit: Getty

England have been knocked down like a nail since the game against Gabba in November.

But Crawley and captain Root showed indispensable determination and determination in 193 runs to take England to 217-1, leading 153.

Crawley’s 19th game unbeaten was a victory of dedication and belief.

There are a few moments of anxiety outside of the tree, especially in the beginning.

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But Crawley completed the mastery of anything that rotated toward his feet, standing and launching 14 quads before achieving a three-figure fit with another grip through the laces and the finish. at position 117.

Root was even more convincing, finishing a short rainy day in ’84, coming close to the 24th century to overtake Kevin Pietersen and just behind Sir Alistair Cook 33 in the all-time ranking.

England will be hoping for more before lunch, although they are likely once again without winning Elbow Mark Wood for victory.

That is, apart from the debut of young Alex Lees – again beautifully set up by Kemar Roach – the perfect morning for England, followed by an even better afternoon.

Jack Leach beat Jayden Seales forward to beat him in the middle front with only the third ball of the day, Windies all for 375, 64 lead.

Lees was soon back in the cage at the age of six, playing around his forefoot.

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But Root joined in, cautiously at first, while Crawley, so strong off his pad, also seemed to flourish, despite the first signs that the pitch might be misbehaving.

Crawley, increasingly placid, has turned 50 – his only previous conversion came in a 267th match against Pakistan at Southampton in 2020 – hitting exactly 100 balls by setting Roach to the side of the foot.

And Root soon completed his 54th half-century when he knocked Veerasammy Permaul after square for the fourth boundary of his stroke.

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There was a scare, but the replays showed Batman’s appeal against the 71-year-old Crawley, set with the edge of the ball to the ground first.

Beyond that, however, it was a relentless accumulation as England took the lead before the rain forced an early cut.

Zak Crawley hits the bat on day four of his first test against the West Indies

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Zak Crawley hits the bat on day four of his first test against the West IndiesCredit: Getty

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4876992/england-batting-crawley-root-tourists/ England finally show some determination to hit the ball as Crawley and Root set up the tourist to shoot for an uncertain victory

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