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Stoneman not thinking about Ashes after maiden Test 50

188   //    28 Aug 2017, 03:05 IST
MarkStoneman - Cropped
England batsman Mark Stoneman

England opener Mark Stoneman refuses to look too far ahead after an impressive knock against West Indies in the second Test sparked talk of an Ashes call.

Stoneman, who dislocated a finger during his innings, fought hard to make a maiden Test half-century, his 52 helping England into a narrow lead at Headingley on Sunday.

The hosts finished day three on 171-3 in their second innings, holding a two-run advantage.

Stoneman's innings may have set him up for a potential spot on the tour of Australia later in the year, but the 30-year-old is unwilling to think that far ahead.

"It has been quite a road to get here and I'm trying to embrace every opportunity and every innings that I play, never looking any further forward than the next time I go out to bat," the left-hander told Sky Sports.

"The first Test was quite exciting. Then after the first innings it was disappointing but once I got through the first 20 balls of this innings you forget about the scrutiny that is going on behind the scenes about how you play each ball. That's just part and parcel of the job.

"It was nice then to get in the contest and get into game mode and forget about everything else that does go on."

The Windies remain in pole position to draw level in the three-Test series, with captain Jason Holder (2-44) having led the way on Sunday.

The skipper hopes the tourists can restrict England on day four to leave a chase of around 150.

"I think anywhere around 150 should be pretty decent, it's still a pretty good pitch, slowish in nature," Holder said.

"There's a bit of spin but wide, from the rough. Seamers I still think will play a big role second innings, so anywhere around 150 we'd be happy with."

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