An impressive third test performance from England was not enough to stop them from losing the three test series in St Lucia. After the West Indies won the first two test matches, it was impossible for England to avoid a test series defeat.
The hosts won the toss and elected to field first in this final five day test between West Indies and England. Play was stopped just after the first innings had started, when rain teemed down on the field at St Lucia. Keaton Jennings was caught out at the start of the 17th over, leaving England on 30-1. England finished at lunch on 46-1, not a horrendous start. However, they then went from 69-1 to 69-3 in minutes. Joe Root was then caught out a few overs before tea with 15 runs, leaving England 114-4 at the interval. However, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes formed a great partnership at the crease after tea, leaving England on 231-4 after 80 overs on day one.
On day two, England lost both Buttler and Stokes within the first hour. A great catch from Dowrich dismissed Stokes for 79. This was after Buttler left the field on 67. A bottom order collapse ensured, with Bairstow, Moeen, Wood, Broad and Anderson falling, with Moeen being the only player to reach double figures in terms of runs. West Indies starting off promisingly in their first innings, with Braithwaite and Campbell building up a partnership of 57 before the former was dismissed. However, they went from 57 without loss to 59-4. Dowrich’s 38 stopped West Indies’ first innings being even worse. England ended up dismissing West Indies in just over 47 overs, which allowed them to bat again in the same day. The ended the day with 19 runs without loss after 10 overs.
England started day three by trying to extend their lead over the West Indies, reaching 108 runs in the second innings before lunch at the expense of two wickets. Denly was dropped at slip on 12, before scoring a half century and being dismissed for 69 runs before tea. England conceded only one wicket after tea, with Jos Buttler being bowled by Kemar Roach. They ended day three on 325-4.
Joe Root fell early on day 4, triggering England’s decision to declare on 361-5. For the West Indies to whitewash England in this series, they had to reach the target of 485, bearing in mind they had two days to do it.
Three James Anderson wickets early on left West Indies on a feeble 10-3. Shai Hope went soon after for only 14 runs, from a Broad catch. Lunch soon followed, with the West Indies on the back foot on 35-4, their target being over ten times that. Shimron Hetmyer was run out after lunch on just 19, and Dowrich was caught out for the same number of runs. The West Indies managed to get from 110-6 to 157-7, and then to a spirited 212 before Alzarri Joseph was caught out by that man Anderson. Shannon Gabriel was dismissed in the 68th over from a Ben Stokes bowl for an unimpressive three runs, before Stokes took the final wicket against Paul by catching his own bowl.
Despite losing this test, England can take great encouragement from what the way they have performed in this third test. Their next fixture is a set of five day one day international matches against the same side, the West Indies, before playing a series of T20s against them.