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West Indies v England

Stuart Broad takes hat-trick as England bowlers get into the groove

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

A tweaked bowling action seemed to work well for Stuart Broad, as he claimed four wickets in five balls, including a hat-trick, in England’s two-day practice game on their tour of the West Indies.

Broad’s wickets were among the 19 the visiting bowlers took on the second day of the match against CWI President’s XI in Barbados on Wednesday, January 16. It was a performance described by Broad himself as “ruthless”, and it reflected in the strange final score of 203-19. The teams were playing with the understanding that England would bowl all day, irrespective of the wickets to fall.

Following half-centuries for Joe Root and Ben Stokes on the opening day, it made for an all-round satisfying warm-up to their three-match series in the Caribbean, with the first Test to start on January 23.

Broad, inspired by New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee and his own team-mate Jimmy Anderson, recently decided to introduce some changes to his action. This included a shortened run-up and a different wrist position. He was happy with how it had turned out.

“The most important thing for me was the rhythm of my new, shorter run-up feeling good,” he said. “In my second spell I tried to ramp up the intensity, and how I bowled in the afternoon was as good as I’ve felt in a long time.”

Given the rules under which the match was played, these wickets won’t be counted in his first-class tally as among those spectacular bursts that he is known for. But Broad is hopeful he can do it again in the Tests, and perhaps even add to the two Test hat-tricks he has against India in 2011 and Sri Lanka in 2014.

“Maybe January 16 is my lucky day because three years ago I took six wickets at the Wanderers on this day,” he said, looking back to the 2016 Test against South Africa where he finished with 6-17, including an incredible spell of 5-1. “But I guess it’s just a shame it wasn’t a Test.

“I never really look at how many wickets I want to take in my career but I’d love to take three Test hat-tricks because I don’t think anyone has ever done that,” he went on. “Maybe today was good practice.”

 

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