Test Cricket resumed after the Corona inflicted delay to worldwide sporting activities. The match was historical as it was the first Test Match to be played in a Full Empty stadium, without a single spectator. For the sport of Cricket this was a first, in its history of over 100 years. England hosted the West Indies at Southampton, and the match turned out to be thriller. Though huge part of the first day was lost to rains, the match still went to final session of play. At the beginning of the last day, all four results were possible.
West Indies had last won a series on English soil in 1988. That team was captained by Vivian Richards and had the West Indies battery of fast bowlers. This present team stands nowhere in comparison to the team of 1988 at all. Still they played against the World Champions as worthy competitors, and has taken a 1-0 lead in the Test Series. The West Indies Captain, Jason Holder inflicted the first blow by grabbing six English wickets in the first innings. West Indies replied with a team effort in batting taking a 116 runs decisive lead. England played better in the second innings, but West Indies grabbed 05 wickets in the last session of 4th day to bring them back in the match.
With 200 required to win on the last day, West Indies had their top 3 back in hut on 27 runs on the board, and one opener retired hurt. So with practically at 27/4, it was Jermaine Blackwood, who crafted two partnerships with Roston Chase and Dowrich to get West Indies home. He got out for 95, with West Indies needing 11 to win, with 04 wickets in hand. Holder was at the crease when the winning runs were hit.
Black Lives Matter#
The Test Match started with both teams doing the kneel to express solidarity with the movement Black Lives Matter#. Since West Indies were playing England, with both countries having sizable black population, the protest had a significant effect on the entire Test Match. Michael Holding who was part of the last West Indies team, that had won series in England, broke down in commentary which talking about his family being black. The West Indian Captain Jason Holder also lent his support to Holding.
The added factor was playing in an empty stadium. West Indies had traditionally enjoyed their best overseas support on English soil. They have lifted two World Cups in England, and has also defeated England in T20 World Cup final, and Champions Trophy final also. England and West Indies have a long rich cricket history.
Shanon Gabriel picked up 09 wickets in the entire match, Holder got 07, making a total of 16 wickets among both of them. Roston Chase played his part, as he scored in both innings, and broke the big opening partnership in the English second innings. Dowrich played his part in both the innings, and Blackwood took the match away from England with his 95. When he got out, his team needed only 11 to win with 04 wickets in hand. Campbell who had retired hurt joined Holder at the crease to finish the formalities.
Its been 41 years, since West Indies has last won a Test Series in England. This team has no Ambrose, Walsh, Marshall, Richards, but they have 11 men who can win with a combined effort on any day. The next two Tests are in Manchester. Can Jason Holder do a Vivian Richards here.