The Wisden Trophy 2020 Test Series
West Indies Vs England
First Test Played at Rose Bowel , Southampton , England
England First Innings 204 All Out in 67.3 Overs (BA Stokes 43, JC Buttler 35, DM Bess 31*, RJ Burns 30, JO Holder 6/42 , ST
Gabriel 4/62 ) and 2nd Innings 313 in 111.2 overs ( Z Crawly
76, DP Sibly 50, BA Stokes 46, RJ Burns 42, ST Gabriel 5/75 , AS
Josef 2/45 , RL Chase 2/71)
West Indies 318 in 102 Overs ( KC Brathwaite 65 , SO
Dorwich 61 , RL Chase 47, SSJ Brooks 39, JD Campbell 28, BA
Stokes 4/49, JM Anderson 3/62, DM Bess 2/51) and 200/6.( J Blackwood 95, R Chase 37 , SO Dorwich 20, J Archer 3/45 , Ben Stokes 2/39)
West Indies Won by 4 wickets
The underdog West Indies coming to England for appearing in the historic first test series after unusual COVID 19 pandemic stalemate as underdog brilliantly turned the table on favorite England dominating all the way through from the moment the coin was tossed. Tourists off course are defending the Wisden Trophy won at home 2-1 when they last locked head to head. West Indies won by 5 wickets.
Looking back in retrospect England will rue their decision of batting first on a damp wicket under overcast condition. They may also rue their decision of resting Stuart Board their match winning bowling hero of past several years. Taking advantage of bowling friendly condition West Indies crashed England 204 all out in the first innings. The tourists then batted out of their skin posting 318 in their first innings taking vital 114 runs first innings lead. England did well scoring 313 in the second innings. West Indies hurdled across losing 5 wickets with one J Blackwell braving the English attack. West Indies went ahead 1-0 in the three tests series. West Indies winning a test in England after such a long time. It was a great exhibition of commitment and discipline. Gabriel , Blackwood and Holder were stand out performers.
All eyes of the thirsty cricket world were glued to the test as cricket and cricketers alike all over were home locked for almost four months since the out break of COVID pandemic. Absolute bio secure environment was created. ICC imposed some special regulation and match was held in empty stadium. However, the match produced mouth watering contest. There was no dearth of excitement and tensions though West Indies looked in total control from the outset. In recent times men from Caribbean islands hardly shown such consistency and cool temperament. The bowled with passion, fielded with urgency and batted with purpose.
On the fifth morning chasing 200 for a win they were 27/3 at one stage with J Campbell also retiring hurt. How brilliantly they fought back showing character. We are sure this win would do world of good for West Indian Cricket. First Roston Chase and Blackwood added 63 for the fourth wicket before Chase fell to a brute of a delivery to Archer fast and furious caught behind for 37. Dorwich gave company to resolute Blackwood and the partnership took West Indies to 168 within sight of victory. Blackwood possibly played the innings of his life time. The presence of his cool headed captain Holder at the other end had calming effect on him as he almost looked like steering his team across. He richly deserved a century. But with 11 runs required for victory he fell 5 short caught by Anderson off Stokes. Holder did the left over job having injured Campbell as his partner. West Indies won by 4 wickets in the fascinating and the riveting contest by four wickets.
West Indies is 1-0 up in the series. The two other tests will be played at Old Trafford Manchester over the next two weeks. The wickets at Old Trafford traditionally have more pace. We do not think West Indies is much bothered about playing the pace. They also have good pace back up in R Cornwall and C Holder in the reserve. This West Indies team has shown resolve and commitment. It will now depend on them holding their composure and play consistently. We think England will not find it easy bouncing back. Perhaps COVID has turned out as a blessing for the touring team to England. For quarantine requirements West Indies and Pakistan arrived few weeks earlier and got additional time to acclimatize with the condition.
BDST: 0903 HRS, JUL 13, 2020