International Cricket is back after a long hiatus and in the most desirable fashion. West Indies scripted a 4-wicket win against England at Lords in the first Test as they go 1-0 up the series, on Tuesday.
Playing for the first time after the mid-march, England, under stand-in captain, Ben Stokes bundled out for just 204 runs in the first innings, thanks to Jason Holder’s career-best figures of 6 for 42. The West Indies skipper went through opposition’s England’s middle order before Shannon Gabriel accounted for the wickets of the top-order batsmen.
West Indies, on the contrary, exhibited a much better show with the bat, as they made England bowlers toil hard for wickets. Kraigg Brathwaite and Shane Dowrich showed great resistance with the bat, helping West Indies pile up 318 runs in their first innings.
England, though, batted well in the second innings but managed to set a 200-run target for West Indies to win the Test. Stand-in skipper, Ben Stokes made valuable contributions to England’s total in both the innings with 43 and 46 to his name in the first and second innings respectively.
Chasing 200 wasn’t impossible but with the likes of James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood at the receiving end, it wasn’t going to be easy either for the men from Caribbeans.
Perhaps, had it not been Jermaine Blackwood’s brilliance with the bat in the second innings, England would have had the last laugh. Jofra Archer found his rhythm in the second innings and exhibited a perfect opening spell as West Indies were once reeling at 27 for 3 in the second innings.
However, Jermaine Blackwood then joined hands with Roston Chase and thereby scripted a super victory. The former stitched 73-run partnership with Roston Chase and then a 68-run partnership with Shane Dowrich to see West Indies home in the end.
Jermaine Blackwood played the best innings of his life. He made sure he would stick to the crease till the end and help his side take 1-0 lead in the series. The West Indies cricketer scored 95 runs off 154 deliveries, which was laced with as many as 12 boundaries.
England and West Indies will play the second Test at Manchester, starting from 16th July 2020.