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West Indies crush England by 10 wickets to seal series

Kalerkantho Online   

3 February, 2019 12:43 PM



West Indies crush England by 10 wickets to seal series

Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell celebrate the winning moment. Photo:Getty Images

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Toward the second match in a row, England was outplayed in every area as West Indies won the Antigua Test by 10 wickets to declare the series 2-0. While England was left holding out for a hero to stand up with the bat, West Indies have channeled David Bowie, not Bonnie Tyler, to produce multiple heroes throughout the series so far, with a dead rubber in St Lucia to come.

Kemar Roach, whose five-wicket haul was instrumental in bowling England out for a first-innings 77 to set up victory in Barbados, and Jason Holder, the West Indies captain who scored an unbeaten double-century to put that win beyond doubt, took four wickets each on day three in Antigua to restrict the tourists to just 132 in their second innings and set their themselves a meagre target of just 14 runs.

Fellow fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was also nothing short of heroic, claiming two wickets while mourning the death of his mother overnight. Joseph also took a diving catch off Holder to dismiss England's last man out, James Anderson, for a duck.

West Indies openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell reeled in the target in just 13 balls, Campbell bringing up the winning runs with a thumping six off Anderson, to sum up, the significance of his team's triumph.

Brathwaite had helped lay the foundations for West Indies in the first innings, his disciplined 49 alongside Darren Bravo's tenacious half-century on a pitch that was particularly challenging for the batsmen building a 119-run lead.

Holder's captaincy was also a highlight. He made confident use of the DRS with critical effect, ultimately leading to the dismissals of Joe Root and Ben Foakes in the second innings.

England openers Joe Denly and Rory Burns safely negotiated tricky spells either side of lunch but, when Holder brought himself into the attack, his first ball had Burns out to a miscued cut shot that flew straight to Campbell in the slips. Holder struck again to remove Jonny Bairstow. Batting at No. 3 despite standing in for injured wicketkeeper Foakes for the entire 121 overs of West Indies' first innings, Bairstow drove hard at and missed a ball that clipped the top of off stump.

Root was out in dramatic style. Joseph did not appeal despite the wicketkeeper and entire slips cordon, which included Holder, going up in unison for caught behind, with umpire Chris Gaffaney ruling it not out. Holder convinced he had heard something, called for the DRS which appeared to show the ball had brushed glove and the decision was overturned.

Joseph, understandably, showed no emotion when he bowled debutant Denly with a neat delivery that angled in to take the top of off stump. Just three balls later, Joseph watched as Campbell grassed a thick edge off Ben Stokes. That meant Stokes and Jos Buttler returned from tea shouldering the responsibility of posting a defensible target, but when Roach bowled Stokes for just 11, the rot set in.

Bravo had not played a Test in more than two years before Barbados, where he managed scores of just 2 and 1. But the value of his 50 in Antigua proved immeasurable. It was the slowest half-century by a West Indies batsman in terms of time but in those 342 minutes, Bravo displayed patience and intelligence.

He withstood the difficult batting conditions and some searching England bowling, particularly from Broad on the second day, to bring up his fifty off 215 deliveries late in the morning session on day three. On his next ball, however, Bravo succumbed to a stumping by Bairstow off the bowling of Moeen Ali.

While Bravo was the only West Indies batsman to reach 50, his first innings combined with the 40s from Brathwaite, Campbell and Shai Hope proved to England's batsmen the difficult pitch could be contended with. The problem for England was - half-centuries to Moeen and Bairstow in the first innings aside - no one could step up when it really mattered.

England's poor Test series record in the Caribbean - with just one triumph (in 2004) since 1968 - continues as a result.


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