Stuart Broad’s historic match-winning intervention came as no surprise to captain Joe Root in England’s innings-and-209-run trouncing of West Indies in this country’s first day-night Test.
Broad capped a brilliant all-round performance from the hosts – against opponents who lost 19 wickets in under a day’s play to lose with more than two days to spare – by surpassing his childhood hero Ian Botham to become England’s second-highest all-time Test wicket-taker.
He came up with two in two balls as West Indies, following on after being bowled out for 168, folded again for 137 in reply to England’s mammoth total of 514 for eight declared, built on man-of-the-match Alastair Cook’s 243 and a century from Root himself.
West Indies were already struggling on 102 for four in their second innings when Broad (three for 34) got the ball for his second spell and went level with Botham by taking his two in two.
Two overs later he then clean-bowled Shane Dowrich to move to 384 career victims –only behind his team-mate James Anderson.
Reflecting on Broad’s performance, Root said: “Stuart is that sort of guy who wants to be involved.
“Today is just a great recognition of the hard work he has done and that mentality he has to want to take his game forward –even though he’s achieved so much.”
Broad’s achievement will grab the headlines, but Root revealed there was relatively little talk in the dressing-room as the landmark loomed.
“Not as much as you might think –he’s a modest guy, and Jimmy and Alastair the same,” Root said. “We all know the class and skill these guys have, and we’re so fortunate to have them rolled into one era.
“All three of the senior guys, the record-breakers, set the standard and strive to improve take the game forward. They lead the way.”
Root hopes too that Broad, Anderson and Cook can keep driving not just themselves but all their team-mates forward with them.
“To have the two leading wicket-takers and the leading runscorer in the side, you have to be careful not to take that for granted,” the England captain added.
“I’m extremely privileged to play in the same team as them - and what a place for young guys to learn, with that great experience and so many runs and wickets behind them.”