A fine 95 from Jermaine Blackwood, helped the West Indies stun hosts England by 4 wickets at the Ageas Oval and take a 1-0 lead in the three test series. Here are our talking pints from the game.
1. Windies continue proud record
The West Indies continued their proud record of having never lost a test while chasing 200 or less. With this triumph in Southampton, they have extended that streak to a whopping 61 games (55 wins, 6 draws). In an era where final innings chases have become trickier and trickier, it’s a fine record to have!
2. Yet another opening test defeat for England
England’s loss at the Rose Bowl now means they have lost the first test in each of their last five series. In some cases, like the South Africa tour last winter, they managed to bounce back but its an area where coach Chris Silverwood will be demanding improvement.
3. Majestic Blackwood
Chasing 200, the West Indies were in deep trouble at 27/3 as they struggled to cope with Jofra Archer’s fiery opening spell. They also lost opener John Campbell to a toe injury, effectively making it 27/4 when Blackwood walked in. However the Jamaican rose through the occasion and stitched together two valuable partnerships, first with Roston Chase and then with wicket keeper Shane Dowrich, to resurrect the visitors’ chase. Blackwood fell five short of what would have been a well deserved century but he had already put the Windies in the drivers’ seat at the time of his departure.
The 28-year-old thus also ensured that the stellar work of Jason Holder and Shannon Gabriel with the ball didn’t go waste.
(image credits Twitter)
4. The Stuart Broad conundrum
Do England shake up things for the next test at Old Trafford? Do they persist with Mark Wood and Jofra Archer or does Broad return?
On the batting front they also have to decide who makes way for the returning Joe Root- the experienced Joe Denly or youngster Zak Crawley, who top scored with 76 in the third innings.
5.Drop catches cost England dear
In a game with such fine margins, catches literally win you matches but England seemed to have forgotten that at the Rose Bowl. They dropped several catches at crucial moments thus allowing the Windies to recover from 27/3 and edge home with four wickets to spare.
The second test will be played at Old Trafford on 16 July.