The West Indies have taken a 1-0 lead in the 2020 test series at Southampton – with Jermaine Blackwood coming to the aid of the tourists in their second innings.
After a mediocre first innings from England, scoring 204, the West Indies built up a total of 318, putting them in pole position to take the First Test. However, England fought back bravely and set their opponents a total of 200 in the final day.
After three early wickets, things were looking up for the hosts – but Blackwood’s 95 destroyed England’s hopes of getting off to a good start in the series.
Both rain and bad light ruined the first day of this test, with England reaching just 35-1 until the umpires called for stumps. Dom Sibley was the man to go early on for a duck when he was bowled by Shannon Gabriel. Rory Burns and Joe Denly were at the crease for the remainder of that day – and they would turn out to be disappointed by England’s performance on the following day.
Shannon Gabriel continued his fine form early on in day two when he bowled Joe Denly this time, taking out his off stump with an inch-perfect delivery. He doubled his wicket tally for the day when his full ball hit the pad of Rory Burns, who was initially saved by the umpires. However, a smart review from the tourists meant Burns had to walk, leaving England on 51-3.
Jason Holder’s first ball in the 34th over of England’s innings struck the pad of Zak Crawley – and the not out decision was reviewed correctly by the West Indies again, before the same bowler took Ollie Pope after the England batsman edged a delivery straight to the wicketkeeper.
Captain Ben Stokes was nearly caught out not too long after before starting England’s fightback to 154-5 before he was dismissed in the same way as Ollie Pope. The same happened to Stokes’ partner Buttler who was impressively caught by wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich.
Jofra Archer was dismissed not long after when captain Holder’s delivery hit him in front of the stumps – and the West Indies had to successfully review the decision yet again. England had collapsed to 157-8.
Mark Wood edged a delivery after scoring just five runs, taking Jason Holder to his sixth wicket of the day, before Dom Bess and James Anderson struck up a short partnership. Shannon Gabriel bowled the latter to leave the hosts all out for 204.
With West Indies 21 runs in to their innings without loss, James Anderson thought he had claimed his first victim, when the umpire gave lbw against John Campbell. The batsman had another successful review against Anderson before finally being dismissed. West Indies finished the day on 57-1 and in the ascendency.
England started day three with a failed review, when Kraigg Braithwaite almost edged a ball to Jos Buttler. At 100-1, the hosts thought they had finally made their breakthrough when Shai Hope was initially dismissed for lbw from Archer’s delivery. However, Archer had in fact bowled a no-ball and after a delivery, the out decision was reversed.
However, England made their breakthrough when a Dom Bess delivery was edged by Hope to Stokes at first slip. Braithwaite finally joined Hope 140 runs in to the tourist’s innings, with the batter scoring 65 of them. They went in to lunch at 159-3.
Shamarh Brooks went after the lunch break (scoring 39), before Jermaine Blackwood’s shot went straight in to the palms of James Anderson before the West Indies reached England’s first innings total.
They managed to get to 267 runs before losing another wicket, when James Anderson dismissed Roston Chase who had built up a healthy total of 47 runs.
Ben Stokes then took the lead, dismissing captain Jason Holder (5) after being caught by Archer, bowling Alzarri Joseph (18), and dismissing Dowrich (61) when he edged a delivery to Buttler. At 313-9, England needed just one more wicket to end their opponent’s first innings.
The visitor’s only scored five more runs before Mark Wood bowled Shannon Gabriel.
318 all out, with a lead of 114.
England still had time to get their second innings off to a good start – and did that via some cautious batting. At stumps, England managed to get 15 runs on the board without loss – an impressive start for the openers who had to face 10 overs before the end of play.
England started the penultimate day of the first test quite well – and only lost their first wicket a quarter of an hour before lunch. Rory Burns swatted a Roston Chase delivery straight to Campbell – a disappointing end to a reasonably decent innings for the batsman. Sibley and Denly made it through to the break.
The former managed to get to his half-century and was almost dismissed straight after when he was bowled. After a no-ball was called, he was out almost straight after edging a Shannon Gabriel ball, leaving England at 113-2. 150 runs in the innings, Denly was the next man to go (29) and you could certainly say his dismissal was a soft one, just like Burns’ was.
At 5:45pm, with the hosts at full steam on 249 runs, Ben Stokes edged a Jason Holder delivery, before Zak Crawley’s impressive innings came to an end via a Joseph catch and bowl. The bowler continued to make an impact when he bowled Jos Buttler (9).
Dom Bess, who was looking to build up a healthy total, went for just three runs after being bowled superbly by Shannon Gabriel – and Ollie Pope (12) suffered the same fate near the end of the day.
England were at 284-8 at stumps, leading by 170 runs going in to the final day.
Despite the collapse at the end of the previous day, England started reasonably well with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood adding to their innings total before the latter’s swipe at the ball resulted in his dismissal. Archer and Anderson managed to add a further ten runs to the total, including one boundary each, before Archer gloved a delivery to wicketkeeper Dowrich. England ended their innings on 313 runs, leaving the West Indies needing 200 runs on the final day to win the first test.
Although the West Indies were still in the driving seat, that soon changed when Braithwaite (4), Brooks (0) and Hope (9) were all out before lunch with Jofra Archer taking two wickets and Mark Wood taking the other. At 35-3 at lunch and John Campbell retiring with an injury, the tourists were in danger of losing the test all of a sudden.
However, they only lost one wicket between lunch and tea, with Royston Chase the sole batter who was dismissed (37). Blackwood and Dowrich continued their good work and went in to the interval at 143-4 – a much improved session from the West Indies.
The tourists continued their good work after tea, reaching 168 runs before Shane Dowrich edged a Ben Stokes delivery in to the gloves of Jos Buttler. With captain Jason Holder at the crease, they continued to build towards their 200 run target and lost Jermaine Blackwood just 11 runs short of victory with four wickets remaining. Blackwood was just five runs short of his century.
John Campbell, who previously retired earlier on in the innings because of injury, came in with Jason Holder to finish the job – and the West Indies are 1-0 up in the series.