West Indies Beat England at Ageas Bowl
The West Indies have won the historic return to action first Test match by four wickets at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
In what was an enthralling encounter from start to finish it was the tourists who came out on top on the final day. Winning the first post-pandemic Test in thrilling fashion.
Stand in captain Ben Stokes may regret his decision at the toss when he elected to bat first. England were behind the eight ball from that moment on and their shaky batting line-up was exposed throughout.
The stand out performances all came from the visitors who had captain Jason Holder to thank for bowling their hosts out cheaply in their first innings. Holder picked up six wickets in bowling England out for just 204, a pivotal moment in the match.
With a lead of 114 from the first innings England fought their way back into proceedings thanks to uncharacteristic top order runs from England. When they were finally dismissed early on the fifth day, they had set the West Indies a target of exactly 200 to win the first #raisethebat Test match.
England v West Indies: Day 3 Highlights
It was never likely to be an easy chase and when Jofra Archer picked up early wickets, the Windies slipped to 27-3, at this point 200 looked a long way off.
However, the flamboyant Jermaine Blackwood went against his own grain and knuckled down with Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich for company. He was eventually dismissed for 95 with his team requiring just 11 for victory.
Fittingly it was leader Jason Holder who saw his team over the line, partnered by the returning from having to retire hurt; John Campbell. Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel picked up the Man of the Match award for his nine wickets in the match.
A memorable victory for the brave visitors who will now be looking forward to the second Test next week. Emirates Old Trafford will play host on Thursday as England will look to bounce back from a disappointing defeat.
The England selectors face major headaches over their team, captain Joe Root will certainly return to the side, perhaps in place of Joe Denly who had a poor game by his standards. The other major decision hangs over the seam bowling department, Stuart Broad was left out of the first Test and he will be confident of a return to the XI. Durham paceman Mark Wood may be the man to miss out as Broad comes back in. How Will England’s Top Three Look in Test Cricket This Summer?
After the Test match began with players taking to one knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign, it was the West Indies who were left standing tallest of all after claiming a fantastic victory this week.
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