Ivory Coast boss Patrice Beaumelle is hopeful he can convince England defender Marc Guehi to switch his international allegiance.

Guehi, who was born in Ivory Coast, made his senior debut in the Three Lions’ victory over Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday.

The Crystal Palace defender has now represented England at every level from Under 16 upwards, and could make his second appearance in Tuesday’s clash with the Elephants.

However, the 21-year-old is still eligible to switch to the country of his birth, having yet to appear in a competitive match under Gareth Southgate.

Guehi, who spent the 2020-21 season on loan at Championship side Swansea City, has made 28 Premier League appearances since leaving Chelsea for Selhurst Park in July.

The Eagles have kept eight league clean sheets along the way, a tally bettered by just seven sides in the English top-flight this term.

And Ivory Coast head coach Beaumelle hopes Guehi will follow in the footsteps of Wilfried Zaha by swapping the Three Lions for the Elephants.

"I have been following Marc for two years, since he was playing at Swansea," he said.

"I know he can still choose Ivory Coast, so we are working on that. I tried to contact him several weeks ago.

"But when I saw him in the English lists, I understood that at the moment, he wants to try with the Three Lions.

"The choice has to come from the heart. He will make his own decision. He did well in his first cap for England.

"Maybe, we will try for the orange jersey of Ivory Coast – you never know.

"I will wait a few weeks and try to contact him to know if he is interested."

Paul Collingwood has urged England to take caution with their scheduling otherwise players will "break physically and emotionally."

Interim coach Collingwood was appointed after Chris Silverwood's dismissal following the 4-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, where the first Test starting just 28 days after England lost the T20 World Cup semi-final to New Zealand.

More disappointment followed against West Indies on Sunday as Joe Root's tourists fell to a fourth consecutive Test series defeat since winning in Sri Lanka at the start of 2021.

While questions remain over Root's captaincy tenure and the next coaching appointment by England, Collingwood suggested players will struggle to continue with the ongoing packed schedule.

Indeed, England will want to turn their Test fortunes around having won only one of their last 17 red-ball outings, but they also have another T20 World Cup later this year and their ODI title defence in India to contend with in 2023.

"I'm sure the new coach will want to pick the best team he can possibly have, but if you look at that fixture list, we're going to have to be very careful," Collingwood told reporters.

"Have a look at the fixture list; we're going to blow a lot of players out of the water very quickly.

"Ben Stokes [who took an indefinite break from cricket to protect his mental health and fitness] has been a prime example. He's put his body on the line in this series because he wants to win games of cricket.

"If players continue to do that, they'll break. They'll break physically and emotionally. So, we've got to be a little bit careful to say 'get the best team on the park every time' because that fixture list moving forward is horrific.

"We're all playing Covid catch-up; we all know that. It's going to be hectic for the next two years because we've got to catch up on games and organisations need to catch up on money."

 

Collingwood reiterated his desire to take the England team forward, even if acting within the backroom staff, while he expressed his support for Root amid scrutiny over his leadership credentials.

"I've put my hat in the ring and if they want me, they know where I am," he said. "They've seen what I can do. I haven't got much experience as a head coach, but you would never get a job if that was the case.

"I feel as though what I've done over the last few weeks is a good start, but it's only a start. If I was to take this team forward, I'd want to make them a lot better as quickly as possible.

"There's a lot of speculation on the way they're going to do it, and that will come from the new managing director."

On Root, he added: "Sometimes, it amazes me that he gets questioned, because of how it feels within the dressing room.

"I can see it because we are not winning games of cricket and, when you have that kind of record, I can understand where the noise comes from.

"But you have to understand how it feels in the dressing room and how strong a leader he is. He has the full backing from all the players and the management as well. It feels like he is still very much our number one to take this team forward.

"You can see the passion, the drive, and there's a real hunger to get it right. These aren't just words coming out of his mouth. He's desperate to get the team back to winning games of cricket."

England boss Gareth Southgate has reiterated that defender Harry Maguire has what it takes to play "at the highest level" despite the Manchester United man's poor club form.

Maguire was an unused substitute for the Three Lions in Saturday's 2-1 friendly win over Switzerland at Wembley, but could return to the team against Ivory Coast on Tuesday.

Conor Coady, Ben White, and debutant Marc Guehi started as England played a back three in their comeback win over Switzerland, with Maguire earning criticism in recent weeks for his role in the Red Devils' underwhelming campaign.

Despite acknowledging that Maguire is going through a "difficult moment" with his club, Southgate reasserted his belief in the 29-year-old's quality.

With Maguire's club team-mates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho left out of the Three Lions party for the March internationals, Southgate also highlighted the increased depth England possess in the forward areas.

"In terms of selection, it's always a difficult conundrum, because we've got players who we know have performed well in an England shirt," Southgate said. "[But] there's got to be some level of scrutiny on how people are playing for their clubs. 

"Everybody has a view on who we should or shouldn't be picking, in the end we need the best players possible, playing at their best level, to have a chance of winning.

"He [Maguire] has got us to a World Cup semi-final and a European Championship final, so there's no doubt that he's capable of playing at the very highest level. 

"The club [United] are in a difficult moment, and there could be any number of reasons for that. 

"That doesn't mean that players can be poor for a couple of years and still find their way in, [but] it also depends on competition for positions, we've left some forward players out who haven't been in good form, but there are experienced replacements for those players."

Meanwhile, Southgate would not reveal whether captain Harry Kane would start against Ivory Coast, praising the Tottenham star's attitude after he drew level with Bobby Charlton's tally of 49 goals for the Three Lions.

Kane is now joint-second in England's all-time goalscoring charts, just four goals shy of Wayne Rooney's record haul of 53 goals, but Southgate hinted that he could choose to look at other options against The Elephants.

"If he had his way he'd play 90 minutes of every fixture," the England boss added. "Which is a brilliant quality to have, because if you're the captain, and want to be at every camp, playing every minute of every game, that sets the tone for everything else.

"The fact is, we've got a good squad, we want to keep people involved and give people opportunities, we need to see certain things across the week, to see how people can play at this level.

"I'll let Ivory Coast find out [whether Kane will start] when we put the team sheet out!"

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has lauded the West Indies team on their win over England in the Apex Test Series.

Gareth Southgate understands why Wilfried Zaha chose to switch his international allegiance to Ivory Coast, with the England manager unsure of what the winger's role might have been with the Three Lions.

Zaha made two friendly appearances for England back in 2012 and 2013, but he was not picked by Southgate when he took over in 2016, despite impressing after his return to Crystal Palace.

The forward eventually elected to play for Ivory Coast, the country of his birth, ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Zaha has gone on to play in 11 of Ivory Coast's 12 matches across the past three Africa Cup of Nations, scoring twice in the 2019 edition, although he has only turned out twice in World Cup qualifiers. Ivory Coast failed to advance to Qatar 2022.

The 29-year-old is in fine form, having scored 10 goals across all competitions for Patrick Vieira's Palace side this season – just one shy of matching his best total for the club, set last season – and will now get the chance to go up against England when the Three Lions host Ivory Coast at Wembley on Tuesday.

"He's a talent," Southgate told reporters when asked about Zaha. "He's a good player playing at a high level every week.

"He felt the Ivory Coast was the route to go and I totally understood that. It's hard to say what his role might have been with us.

"Raheem [Sterling] has been a key part of our team for a long period, Jesse Lingard had done a fabulous job and, at the start, we had Adam Lallana, who was our player of the year for the first 18 months or so."

 

Southgate coached Zaha while he was in charge of England Under-21s and conceded it was a hard time for the then Manchester United winger.

"When we had him with the Under-21s he was in the middle of a very difficult spell both with Manchester United and then on loan with Cardiff," said Southgate, who explained that he never doubted Zaha's commitment or desire to play.

"I remember being asked at the time – and we were asked about a few different cases – and I said players have to have the desire to play for England.

"That was slightly tweaked a bit, I would say, so that created a little bit of an atmosphere with Wilf and [Palace chairman] Steve Parish for a while.

"That wasn't an insinuation on Wilf – you couldn't have a more passionate player, as anyone who follows Crystal Palace knows."

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite believes his team is just getting started after clinching a series win against England in Grenada.

Following two draws in the first couple of Tests, a superb performance from the hosts on day three and day four overwhelmed the tourists and led to a 10-wicket victory to take the series 1-0.

England recovered from 90-8 to 204 in the first innings of the third and final Test but were never ahead in the game as Brathwaite's side took a first-innings lead of 93, before bowling England out for just 120 in their second.

That left Brathwaite and opening partner John Campbell to secure victory as they required less than five overs to chase down 28 on Sunday, condemning England to a fifth consecutive series defeat.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests and are winless in nine red-ball outings, their longest such streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

The West Indies have still lost only once to England at home in Test cricket since 1968, with that solitary defeat coming in 2004.

"Very proud," Brathwaite said of his players after sealing the win. "My first home series win, so very happy.

"It was a very, very good series for us. In two hard-fought draws in the first two games I thought England played extremely well and we had to show some fight in the last days of both of those games. But coming here, we ramped it up. It's been a remarkable effort."

The 29-year-old had a strong series, top scoring with 341 runs to his name at an average of 85.25.

It was a team effort, though, and notable how several of the younger players stepped up in key moments, with Brathwaite name-checking Joshua Da Silva, who hit a century on day three to rescue his side's innings; Jayden Seales, who took 11 wickets in the series (joint-most with Kemar Roach and England's Jack Leach); and Alzarri Joseph, the taker of 10 wickets.

"I believe this is the start," he said. "But we can't become complacent. We have got to keep learning, keep improving.

"That is one thing with the youngsters in the team – Joshua, Jayden, Alzarri – they are willing to listen. That is the only way to get better. Jason Holder and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood really leading the way, and the guys learnt a lot on the job.

"I think it's the start and we have to continue to work hard."

Joe Root's tactics against West Indies "fell a long way short", according to Michael Vaughan, who warned England "may go further backwards" before going forwards.

England were held to consecutive draws across Tests in Antigua and Barbados before faltering in the winner-takes-all decider in Grenada.

Root's tourists recovered from 90-8 to 204 in the first innings, but were never ahead in the game as Kraigg Braithwaite's side mustered 297 before again bowling England out for just 120.

That left Brathwaite and opening partner John Campbell to secure a 10-wicket victory as they required just 4.5 overs to chase down 28 on Sunday, condemning England to a fourth consecutive series defeat.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests and are winless in their last nine red-ball outings, their longest such streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

Questions over Root's captaincy remain prominent with the ECB searching for a new managing director and coach, and Vaughan believes his fellow Yorkshireman needs to take some time to consider his future.

"Let Joe Root sleep on it for a week or so," Vaughan said to BT Sport of Root's future at the helm.

"I fear this red-ball team might go further backwards before it goes forward and you're going to have to have a lot of energy as a leader, a captain you're going to have to have a huge amount of energy to wake up every morning to captain this side.

"Generally in English conditions, the Test match team win lots of games, win lots of series – well last summer they lost to New Zealand and they were losing to India, so I don't see this Test match side suddenly becoming a team that consistently wins series after series and that's in English conditions. 

"So Joe is going to have to find a huge amount of energy and he's also going to have to improve, because tactically in this game he was a long way short. The England side fell a long way short.

"I don't see too many players, out of this England Test team, who can suddenly come in and spark England into getting 450 consistently against the better opposition, when the ball is moving about.

"That's why I do think there could be some darker days ahead and it's going to take a leader with a lot of energy to try and get this Test match team right."

 

Paul Collingwood took temporary charge for the series in the Caribbean after Chris Silverwood was dismissed following Ashes disappointment, but the identity of England's next permanent coach remains unclear.

Vaughan would like to see England appoint former Australian coach Justin Langer, who guided his country to T20 World Cup success at the end of last year before lifting the Ashes.

"I would personally go for Justin Langer – he's the sort of leader that England need at the moment," he added.

"Then it is a conversation with Joe Root to see if he's still got the energy to take England forward and even then I'd debate it.

"You could give it to Ben Stokes to the end of next year's Ashes and then hope that a younger player like Zak Crawley is ready."

Joe Root declared he wants to keep the England Test captaincy but acknowledged the decision is not entirely in his hands after another series defeat.

Root believes team-mates remain firmly supportive of his leadership, despite a disappointing loss against West Indies.

Draws in Antigua and Barbados teed up a winner-takes-all decider in Grenada, but Root's tourists were always behind after falling to 90-8 on the first day.

Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood proved unlikely heroes to drag England to 204 all out in the first innings, though a sorry bowling performance allowed West Indies, inspired by Joshua da Silva's maiden Test ton, to scramble to 297 - a lead of 93.

Further batting struggles saw the visitors skittled for just 120 second time around, leaving Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell to chase down a target of 28 in just 29 balls on Sunday, sealing a 10-wicket win.

"I've made it quite clear at the start of this game and throughout this tour that I'm very passionate about trying to take this team forward," Root said.

"I will control all that I can. I don't think it's ever in your hands completely. I feel like the group are very much behind me. We're doing a lot of really good things; we just need to turn that into results now."

England are without a win in five Test series, stretching back to a triumph over Sri Lanka at the start of last year. They are also without a win in their last nine Tests, losing six of those, which is their longest winless streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

Root told BT Sport he felt a sense of "frustration", adding: "Throughout this series we've played some really good cricket, and we've shown what we're capable of as a group.

"We've grown over the first two games as a batting group, and we've shown big strides in that department, and shown what we are capable of. Yesterday really let us down, it's really hurt us, and it's an important day within the series.

"We just didn't stand up to it well enough, and unfortunately you find us in this position where we've ended up losing the series after we played so much brilliant cricket."

The England skipper added: "I thought the attitude throughout the whole thing has been brilliant – in that respect we've definitely made big improvements. That has to continue.

"There are so many good things we can take away from this. Of course, we came here to win, and we've not, and that's frustrating, that's disappointing. But if we're going to keep learning and keep growing as a team, and if we're going to start winning, then we've got to keep that approach."

 

Interim head coach Paul Collingwood, who replaced Chris Silverwood in the wake of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing, said he had observed total support for Root among England's players.

He said: "The one thing you do notice in that dressing room is that the team is together, they're right behind Joe.

"You can see all the players, all the management, and you can see Joe himself, he's got the determination to still take this team forward and get results.

"The leadership doesn't affect his batting. He's still going out there and scoring the runs and he's still desperate to turn things around and desperate to make this team the best they can be."

Regarding his own uncertain future with England, as the search continues for a permanent coach, Collingwood added: "If I was to be given the job, or they decide they want to give me the job, then I would certainly take it. I've enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to."

England suffered a crushing 10-wicket loss to West Indies in the third Test in Grenada to lose the series 1-0 as pressure was ramped up on captain Joe Root.

The tourists were reduced to 103-8 at stumps on Saturday and were all out for 120 after losing the remaining wickets of Chris Woakes (19) and Jack Leach (4) inside an hour on Sunday.

Set a target of 28 runs to win at the Grenada National Stadium, Kraigg Brathwaite (20 not out) and John Campbell (6no) got West Indies over the line in just 4.5 overs.

Speaking on Saturday, former England captain Michael Vaughan had speculated this could be Root's final match as skipper, and another punishing loss follows a crushing Ashes series defeat.

England were looking to restore some pride if nothing else when play resumed, but any hope they had of building up a triple-figure lead after their second innings soon faded.

Having survived a review after appearing to be caught at short leg off bat and thigh pad, Woakes tried to turn the ball around the corner but Jason Holder made a superb grab.

That came off Kemar Roach's first ball, and the same bowler also brought an end to Leach's resistance shortly after, the left-handed batsman being caught behind by Joshua Da Silva.

It was then left to Braithwaite and Campbell to keep the scoring ticking over, which they did with ease to spark joyful celebrations in the home ranks.

 

Mayers masterstroke

Plenty of focus will be on England after this humbling loss, but credit must go to West Indies for what was an impressive showing across a third Test that lasted barely four days.

The selection of Kyle Mayers was key, the 29-year-old taking seven wickets in Grenada, having achieved an innings best of 3-24 across 10 previous Tests.

Root-and-branch reform awaits

England are now without a win in their last nine Tests, losing six of those, which is their longest winless streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

The inquest into why this has happened can now be stepped up, and come the end of it there may well be a change of leadership should Root walk – or indeed be pushed.

England bowler Mark Wood has undergone surgery on his elbow after being previously ruled out for the remainder of their tour of the West Indies.

The Durham paceman suffered the injury during the opening Test in Antigua and has now undergone a procedure to help correct the problem.

There is no set return date for the 32-year-old, who has often proven to be one of England's more reliable performers amid a dismal year for Joe Root's side.

An official ECB statement read: "England and Durham fast bowler Mark Wood had surgery yesterday in London to address the right elbow injury sustained during the first Test against West Indies in Antigua earlier this month.

"The surgery removed bone and scar tissue to address an impingement problem that was causing pain in his elbow when bowling.

"He will now commence rehabilitation with the ECB and Durham. A date for his return to play will be established in due course."

Gareth Southgate insists Jordan Pickford has "always played well" for England and backed the Everton goalkeeper to continue as the Three Lions' number one.

Pickford's place in Southgate's side has been called into question throughout his time as first choice, though the form of Aaron Ramsdale for Arsenal this season has resulted in increased examination of who deserves to play between the posts.

Everton's form has not helped, with the Toffees struggling in 17th place in the Premier League and having conceded the joint fifth-highest number of goals in the competition this season (47).

Pickford, meanwhile, has conceded 44 of those goals, from 25 appearances. Even if he has been a relatively consistent performer in a disappointingly inconsistent Everton side, only three Premier League goalkeepers have conceded more so far this season, though the 28-year-old has been kept busy, with his 85 saves ranking as the sixth-highest.

His save percentage of 65.9 is the seventh-lowest of goalkeepers to have featured at least 10 times in the top flight, and is way down compared to Ramsdale's impressive 76.3 per cent.

Pickford has, however, slightly overperformed his expected goals on target conceded (xGOT), by 0.6, though Ramsdale again comes out top in this metric, with a goals prevented figure of 3.3.

 

Yet on the international stage, Pickford is still Southgate's undisputed number one. He made three saves as England came from behind to beat Switzerland 2-1 in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday, including a stunning stop from Fabian Frei when the visitors were 1-0 up.

"He's always played well for us and he has a good focus with us," Southgate told a news conference.

"He has a very good relationship with [goalkeeper coach] Martyn Margetson, who I think does an excellent job with him. So, he knows the structure around him. He knows clearly how we want him to play.

"There is competition for everybody's position and that's what we want. We don't want people just sitting, thinking confidently that there's no competition that doesn't help a team.

"I think the form of the other goalkeepers is important. But he showed again, big saves at important moments."

Pickford has kept 20 clean sheets from 43 England appearances, conceding 32 times and not making a single error that has resulted in a goal.

Indeed, at Euro 2020, he kept five clean sheets – more than any other goalkeeper – while his save percentage (88.9) was also the best in the competition.

 

"I thought he was very calm with the ball," added Southgate. "That allowed us to relieve the pressure by going back and out of the press.

"Of course, he's got every club in the bag because he can go long, which is a problem for teams as well. So a very good performance from him, especially the saves in the first half."

The Premier League statistics this season do not back up claims of Pickford's reliable distribution, however, with his passing accuracy of 48.9 per cent ranking the third worst of goalkeepers with over 10 Premier League appearances.

That data could be skewed slightly by the fact that only Burnley's Nick Pope has attempted more long passes this season (581 compared to 544), with Everton have preferred a more direct approach under previous manager Rafael Benitez.

Eddie Jones' successor as England head coach will be appointed ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) targeting an Englishman for the job.

Australian boss Jones has spent six and a half years in charge of England and is under contract until after next year's showpiece event in France.

The 62-year-old had been under increasing pressure following another disappointing Six Nations showing for England, who finished with two wins from five matches.

However, the RFU this week assured Jones that his job is safe for now, though the former Japan coach was warned that nobody is "bulletproof".

Providing a further update on the position on Saturday, RFU performance director Conor O'Shea suggested a new coach could work alongside Jones at the World Cup before taking over.

"The plan for us will be to appoint that coach before summer 2023," O'Shea said. "Whether that's embedding them into the programme or taking a helicopter view, that's a discussion to be had. 

"We would like to think we will be appointing them in the lead up to 2023. We have so many top English coaches who are in a great position.
 
"Eddie has worked with Steve [Borthwick], Neal [Hatley], Gussy [Paul Gustard]. You look across the Premiership and then you see the quality of people overseas. I want them to be English and I believe [they] should be."

He added: "The rationale is we need to appoint so we have got time to embed the new coaching team and allow them to hit the ground running. Eddie is fully aware and knows what we want to do. 

"There will be some people who say that will disturb the World Cup prep because people will be looking over their shoulder.

"[Fabien] Galthie was appointed before the 2019 World Cup and it's the right thing to do because we need to get ready for the 2024 Six Nations."

The RFU's focus on a homegrown coach would rule the likes of Warren Gatland, Steve Hansen and Rassie Erasmus out of the running, but chief executive Bill Sweeney is confident the right approach is being taken.

"We believe we've got such a wealth of English coaches in the game," he said. "As a leading rugby nation we should be developing English coaches and an English style of play. 

"That should be long-term and therefore the preference would be to have an English setup as far as I'm concerned. 

"We've got a war room that's got every English coach you can imagine – based here and based internationally. We've got an advanced succession plan in place."

Kyle Mayers says he found inspiration in teammate Joshua da Silva, claiming a maiden five-wicket haul for West Indies against England in the third Test on Saturday.

Da Silva's maiden Test century to give the hosts a first innings lead of 93 was then backed up by Mayers, who produced an astonishing 5-9 on day three, as England collapsed to 8-103 by the close of play.

The 29-year-old, who only made his Test debut in February 2021, believes he and the Windies team were spurred on by Da Silva's efforts.

"I think it was very special for me," he told BT Sport. "Seeing Josh perform this morning inspired me. The team always wanted this victory so we decided we were going to give it our all in this innings and it just worked out."

Mayers rattled through the English top order, claiming the wickets of opener Alex Lees, as well as captain Joe Root, before Dan Lawrence and Ben Stokes.

The medium-pacer said the key to success on an evolving wicket was simple.

"Making the batsmen play as much as possible," Mayers said. "The pitch had varying bounce and pace so straighter deliveries were working for me."

Da Silva's first Test ton – with his good friend Jayden Seales providing fight at the crease from the tail end – was transformative according to Mayers.

"I think it was very special," he said. "He couldn't have done it more special than today actually getting it with his best friend. When you see Josh, you see Jayden.

"We saw that Jayden played a special part in that. It was beautiful, it was really emotional for me as well. You saw him crying, it was very, very good for him."

England were facing a crushing defeat in the decisive third Test against West Indies as Joshua Da Silva and Kyle Mayers made day three thoroughly miserable for Joe Root and the tourists.

Da Silva reached a first Test century and Mayers took 5-9 in 13 overs in a career-best bowling performance, with West Indies capitalising on a first-innings lead of 93 runs by reducing England to 103-8 at stumps.

Leading by 10 runs with just two second-innings wickets standing, the last sliver of hope for England was that they converted 90-8 in their first innings to 204 all out, but this time around they looked floored.

The England tail must wag spectacularly on Sunday at the Grenada National Stadium for this to become a contest again, with signs pointing to West Indies landing the series win after the first two Tests ended in draws.

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan speculated this could prove to be Root's final match as captain, with the team, crushed in the Ashes before this series, looking increasingly rudderless.

West Indies had a strong morning as Da Silva went from 54 not out to finish unbeaten on 100, sharing in a 52-run partnership for the 10th wicket with Jayden Seales, who managed a gritty 13 and saw off 58 deliveries before Root removed him, caught and bowled.

From 232-8 at the start of play, having been 128-7 at one point on Friday, West Indies amassed 297 and England's jaws were already on the floor.

It got no better for the tourists after lunch as they plummeted to 39-4, still 54 short of making West Indies bat again. Zak Crawley flashed a catch to Jason Holder to give Seales an early wicket, before Mayers removed Root for the second time in the match.

Reaching for the ball outside off stump, Root got a hefty edge and gave John Campbell a comfortable take at first slip. After a duck in the first innings, to fall for five this time was a grim blow.

Mayers went on to bowl Dan Lawrence for a duck and prise out Ben Stokes for four. Opener Alex Lees had avoided being part of the early churn, obdurately defying the home attack in a go-slow innings, and began to lead a recovery alongside Jonny Bairstow. They put on 41 for the fifth wicket before Bairstow got a thin edge to give Alzarri Joseph a wicket.

Ben Foakes fell to a lamentable run out at the end of the same over, and Lees, who faced 132 balls, perished for 31 when Mayers tore out the left-hander's off stump. Mayers had his fifth wicket when Craig Overton edged to Holder, who juggled at third slip before clinging on. West Indies could not quite get over the line before the close, but victory is in sight.


Vaughan senses end of Root era

Taking into account all Tests where he has batted twice, this was Root's worst performance with the bat since making one and a duck against New Zealand in 2015 at Headingley. He has been terrific with the bat for England in recent times, but even he fell flat in this game.

Vaughan said on BT Sport: "I just feel that this could be his last Test match as captain. I can see in his face, I've been in that position. When it goes, and he's been captain for such a long period of time, it might be starting to come to an end for him."

Marvellous Mayers tortures tourists

Mayers, who in 10 previous Tests had achieved innings-best figures of 3-24, found himself with figures of 5-9 here, with England finding his medium-fast pace surprisingly too hot to handle. 

Chris Woakes, Jack Leach and Saqib Mahmood delivered with the bat in England's first innings, scoring 115 runs between them, and they are the three batters remaining this time. Yet snowfall in Grenada on Sunday seems about as likely as another England rescue act. This team looks ready for home.

Gareth Southgate is not worried about the prospect of Harry Kane struggling with pressure as he closes on Wayne Rooney's England goals record.

Kane scored the winner as the Three Lions beat Switzerland 2-1 in Saturday's friendly at Wembley, converting a penalty 12 minutes from time.

It took him level with Bobby Charlton on 49 goals for England, meaning only Rooney on 53 is now ahead of the Tottenham star.

Rooney, who coincidentally broke Charlton's initial record with a penalty against Switzerland in 2015, was considered by many to have passed his peak when he reached 50 goals, as he only went on to score another three.

There was also a degree of obsession around the achievement in the lead up, with the idea that Rooney struggled somewhat with the pressure a common theory.

Whether that truly was the case, only Rooney knows, but Southgate is convinced Kane will not be impacted in such a way.

Asked if he wanted Kane to break the record before the World Cup so it does not become a distraction, Southgate jovially replied: "I'd like him to break it in the World Cup final!

"I think he's quite calm about it, confident he can get there because his goals per game record is phenomenally good.

"I don't know where that would compare to Jimmy Greaves, but I imagine he's the only other player who'd be close [to Greaves], so I think he knows there's always going to be speculation.

"If he doesn't break it before [the World Cup] then [the country] will be saying he's out of form and should he be in the team.

"One way or another, the focus will be on him – he's used to dealing with it and I'm sure he'll be very calm about it whichever way."

But in the eyes of Southgate, there is much more to Kane than just his goals, with the England manager delighted to have such a talent who also acts as an example with his attitude.

"I think the names he's amongst now are incredible, aren't they? He'll appreciate that history and it'll mean a lot to him to be in with those people," Southgate said of Kane pulling level with Charlton.

"You'd have to say he looks favourite to go and do that [break Rooney's record], I don't want to put any sort of curse on that and say any more, but he wants the team to do well.

"He has this dual drive. What's great is that means that whenever he turns up, because he also has the individual ambition, there's never a camp where he doesn't look like he wants to play, or doesn't want to be involved or at the forefront of things.

"That's the mentality that then spreads through the rest of the group, so I'm very pleased for him and I think in the second half especially we were just about value for the win."

England are in action again on Tuesday when they host Ivory Coast. Three days later they will find out their opponents at Qatar 2022 when the World Cup draw is made.

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