BRIDGETOWN: Ben Stokes followed captain Joe Root with a century to allow England to declare against the West Indies on 507-9 on the second day of the second test at Kensington Oval. West Indies was 71-1 in reply, John Campbell giving Matthew Fisher a wicket with the second ball of his test career.
Root improved from 119 overnight to 153, but played second fiddle to Stokes, who dominated their stand of 129 as he made a belligerent 120 from 128 balls on Thursday.
The West Indies looked equally adept at handling the second slow and flat pitch in two tests, as captain Kraigg Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks comfortably handled the new ball from an England battery with two debutants, pacer Saqib Mahmood and medium-pacer Fisher.
England's Dan Lawrence was out for 91 to the last delivery on Wednesday, so Stokes walked to the middle without runs beside Root, who resumed on 119 and the team on 244-3. Root hardly seemed to face a ball as Stokes warmed up quickly then lashed out, particularly at spinner Veerasammy Permaul.
His second six off Permaul got him to a half-century, followed by a third six over midwicket. In the next over, Stokes smacked Alzarri Joseph for three straight boundaries then a six back over the fast bowler's head.
By lunch at 369-3, Stokes had 89 off 92 balls and was the fifth men's allrounder to at least 5,000 runs and 150 wickets, in company with Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham, Kapil Dev and Jacques Kallis. In the second over after lunch, Root was out, lbw on the front pad to Kemar Roach on 153 from 316 balls.
West Indies overturned the not out decision on review, and Roach passed Sobers on the West Indies wicket-takers list to seventh. Stokes reached his 11th test hundred off 114 balls. A single into the off side got him to his first test ton since 2020.
But he was out for 120 off 128 after taking two sixes off Brathwaite and trying a third slog. His brilliant innings included six sixes and 11 boundaries. He was out at 424-6 after Jonny Bairstow was claimed by Joseph for 20.
Chris Woakes and Ben Foakes took England to tea on 482-6 but when they departed in quick succession with Jack Leach, England declared. Permaul led West Indies with three wickets. Braithwaite launched their reply with two boundaries off Woakes in the first over.
Campbell hit Fisher's first ball in test cricket to the fence, but nicked behind the second ball. Brathwaite overturned being given out on 16 and was on 28 at stumps, with Brooks on 31.