Centuries from Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes (pictured) put England in a superb position on day two of the second Test against West Indies (England 2/5, Draw 2/1, West Indies 40/1 – Match Betting).
All-rounder Stokes proved his worth with another stellar display with the bat as he top-scored with 176 runs.
The hosts still had work to do at the start of the day as they resumed on 207-3 after losing Rory Burns (15), Joe Root (23) and Zak Crawley (0) on Thursday.
England kept the West Indies at bay during the morning session, with the tourists failing to claim a wicket.
Sibley eventually recorded his second hundred in Test cricket with a determined 120, with spinner Roston Chase eventually dismissing him amongst his five-wicket haul.
Despite losing his partner after a partnership of 260, Stokes put his foot down and steered England into a commanding position.
Jos Buttler added 40 to England’s tally while Dom Bess chipped in with an unbeaten 31 before Root eventually declared at 469-9.
West Indies will restart play on day three, 437 runs behind after ending Friday’s evening session on 32-1.
England’s bowlers looked to be struggling for movement on the Old Trafford wicket, but Sam Curran pinned John Campbell for just 12 runs.
West Indies are now in a precarious position as they look to at least retain their series lead gained from the victory at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl and they will be hoping Kraigg Braithwaite (11/4 to score a 50) can emulate Sibley and lay a foundation with the bat.
Sibley was quick to praise Stokes for his performance, while he believes bowler Bess will do some real damage with the ball on Saturday.
He told Sky Sports: “We had a big partnership in Cape Town as well. He turned it on after he got his hundred and took the pressure of me. It is great to bat with Stokesy.
“This morning, we wanted to make sure we batted for a long part of the day. They bowled really well in the morning. It was a case of getting through that and setting a good foundation.
“We didn’t expect it to spin as much as it has done, but hopefully Bessy can spin the wheel tomorrow. To get one wicket, there was a massive bonus.”