Kraigg Brathwaite's excellent 89-ball half-century featured six fours and a six. © Getty Images

Kraigg Brathwaite’s excellent 89-ball half-century featured six fours and a six. © Getty Images

Kraigg Brathwaite scored a defiant unbeaten half-century after James Anderson moved to within sight of becoming the first England bowler to take 500 Test wickets at Headingley on Saturday (August 26).

Windies were 109 for 3 in reply to England’s first innings 258, a deficit of 149 runs, at lunch on the second day of the second Test. Brathwaite was on 63 and Shai Hope 33, with their unbroken partnership so far worth 74 runs.

Anderson removed both Devendra Bishoo, the nightwatchman, and Kyle Hope in the first session on his way to brilliant lunch figures of 3 for 10 runs in 12 overs, having dismissed Kieran Powell on Friday. That left him on 495 Test wickets and just five away from becoming only the sixth bowler in history to take 500 in the format.

The Windies batsmen found runs hard to come by while Anderson was bowling under grey skies, with the floodlights switched on to combat the gloom. But they hit back when Anderson was given a rest by Joe Root.

Windies resumed on their overnight 19 for 1, having restricted England to under 300 with a much-improved bowling display following a humiliating innings-and-209-run defeat in the first Test at Edgbaston last week that left them 1-0 down in the three-match series.

With Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach sharing eight wickets between them, Windies would have been in an even stronger position had they not dropped Ben Stokes (100) and Root (59) in the slips when both batsmen were in single figures.

Bishoo fell without adding to his overnight score when to one of Anderson’s worst deliveries, short and wide outside off stump, he edged an intended cut to Jonny Bairstow. And 31 for 2 became 35 for 3 when Anderson’s full-length inswinger had Kyle Hope (three) outside-edging to second slip, where Root held a sharp catch diving to his left.

But Brathwaite, who resumed on 13 not out, cut Stuart Broad for four and then successfully reviewed lbw decisions on 35 and 46, after first getting an inside edge to Broad and being outside off stump playing a shot when given out to Moeen Ali. The very next ball, Brathwaite drove Moeen for six to complete an excellent 89-ball half-century that also featured six fours.