Visitors register four-wicket win in the first match of the Test series
Shannon Gabriel’s superlative bowling performance followed by Jermaine Blackwood brilliant batting display helped West Indies register a hard-fought win against England in the first Test of series played in Southampton.
The game started with Interim captain Ben Stokes winning the toss and opting to bat first on a lively surface. The decision proved to be a disaster West Indies bowled well to dismiss England for just 204 runs in 67.3 overs.
The star of the show for the home side was middle-order batsman Ben Stokes, who finished the innings with the top score of 43 off 97 balls with the help of seven boundaries. He put on a crucial partnership with wicket-keeper Jos Buttler to help England get close to 200-run mark. Stokes was well supported by Buttler, who chipped in with gritty innings of 35 runs off 47 balls.
Rory Burns and Dominic Bess also chipped with crucial 30s for England in their first innings.
For West Indies, Pace bowler Jason Holder was the star of the show as he claimed figures of 6 for 42, whereas Shannon Gabriel claimed four wickets.
In reply, West Indies got off to a decent start. Crucial half-centuries from Shane Dowrich, Kraigg Braithwaite and Roston Chase 40 odd runs helped West Indies post 318 runs in their first innings. John Campbell and Shamarh Brooks also chipped in with vital runs.
Opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite finished the innings with the top score of 65 off 125 balls with the help of six boundaries. He was well supported by middle-order batsman Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich, who scored 47, 61 off 142 and 115 balls respectively.
For England, pacer Ben Stokes was the star of the show as he claimed figures of four for 49. He was well-supported by pacer James Anderson, who claimed three wickets.
In the second innings, England batted much better and put in an improved batting performance to score 313 runs all out in 111.2 overs.
For England, Rookie batsman Zak Crawley was the standout player in this innings and scored his maiden half-century in Test cricket. He scored 76 runs off 127 balls with the help of eight boundaries. He was well supported by Interim captain Ben Stokes and opener Dominic Sibley, who scored 46 and 50 respectively. Rory Burns also chipped in with crucial runs for the side in this innings.
For West Indies, pacer Shannon Gabriel was the best bowler on show as he claimed five wickets, whereas Roston Chase and Alzarri Joseph claimed two wickets apiece.
Chasing a tricky total of 200 runs to win the first Test, Jofra Archer ran through the top-order with a spectacular new-ball spell. Mark Wood also picked up with his first spell to see West Indies reeling at 27 for 3 after 11.4 overs.
Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood led the fightback for West Indies and put on a 73-run partnership for the fourth-wicket. Despite losing Chase in the 35th over, Blackwood continued to score runs at a decent rate and put another crucial stand with Shane Dowrich to help West Indies get close to the target. Captain Jason Holder put in a decent innings to help West Indies complete the chase in 64th over of the innings.
For West Indies, Jermaine Blackwood was the standout batsman and fell five runs short of another century. He finished the innings with the top-score of 95 runs off 154 balls with the help of 12 fours. He was well supported by Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder, who scored 37, 20 and 14 respectively.
For England, Pace bowler Jofra Archer made a strong comeback in the second innings and claimed three wickets. Ben Stokes also picked up two wickets in his 10 overs.
With this result, West Indies have taken 1-0 lead in the three-match Test series. The second game of the Test series will be played at Old Trafford in Manchester from 16th July.