Cricket fans were in for a Test treat as England opener Dom Sibley took 312 balls to reach his century as the hosts continued to build on their overnight score on Day 2 of the second Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford, Manchester. (More Cricket News)
At Lunch on Friday, England were 264/3 with Sibley and Ben Stokes unbeaten on 101 (316) and 99 (252) runs respectively. They have added 183 (465) for the third wicket in a painstaking partnership which all but deflated Windies bowlers on a seemingly slow pitch. Sibley has hit four fours so far while Stokes has hit nine fours and a six.
The 24-year-old Sibley's hundred, second in eight Tests, is the third slowest England century of the millennium after two by Michael Atherton against Pakistan and West Indies in 2000.
In a fledgling career, the right-handed batsman has scored 513 runs so far with the highest score of 133.
And as expected, fans have a field day on social media, sharing their veritable comments. Here are some reactions:
People talking about Sibley scoring slow, that's a quality ton. Him & Burns batting the way they do allows Stokes, Pope, Buttler ect to attack. Exactly what we need, hopefully he can bat through and make a huge 100. Stokes 1 away then will attack. We'll played! #ENGvWI— Nathan pufc (@PufcNathan) July 17, 2020
People complaining Sibley is going slow is so frustrating! He’s just got a century, his partner has nearly got a century. This will allow people like Pope and Buttler to play shots they’ve been asked to play with a diff pressure. Top order runs is a game changer! #bbccricket— Tom Holmes (@thomholmes) July 17, 2020
I see people criticising dom sibley for his slow scoring. what do we want to go back to the likes of James Vince and quick 30s and out? too many times we were 30/3 before. keep going dom excellent concentration #ENGvWI— adehughes (@adehughes6) July 17, 2020
As a team we’ve been crying out for an opener to bat time and provide a foundation for the big hitters to come in later. Now we’ve got one in Dom Sibley and he’s getting slated for being “too slow”? Can’t win! Superb innings. @bbctms @englandcricket @SkyCricket #ENGvWI— Danny Blood (@dannyswfc) July 17, 2020
Gloriously slow batting by England this morning. Sibley's 312-ball hundred reminds me of the PG Wodehouse line about another careful scorer: "Trevor Bailey awoke from an apparent coma to strike a boundary."— Patrick Kidd (@patrick_kidd) July 17, 2020
Good lawd this is slow. I guess they'll be happy that they haven't lost a wicket in the 1st session. Lunch it is then. England 264/3. Sibley *101 & Stokes 99*. #ENGvWI— Kgauza Lecowza (@kgaugelo_SM) July 17, 2020
Disgracefully slow hundred from Sibley. Great English openers of yesteryear like Cook, Boycott and Jason Roy must be spinning in their graves #ENGvWI— McAllister Riptide (@G_Funk81) July 17, 2020
Overall, it's fifth slowest for England with former captain Nasser Hussain occupying the top spot with a 343-ball ton against South Africa at Durban in 1999. Atherton is second with a 326-ball hundred against at Sydney in 1991. Atherton's other two knocks came against Pakistan (317) at Karachi in 2000 and Windies (315) at The Oval, London in 2000.