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Blackwood gritty 95 helps Windies go past England by 4 wickets in first Test

West Indies went 1-0 up in England for the first time since 2000 thanks to a superb 95 from Jermaine Blackwood which guided them to a target of 200 on the final day with four wickets to spare.

Blackwood gritty 95 helps Windies go past England by 4 wickets in first Test
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The West Indies won the first international cricket match since the sport’s return after the coronavirus outbreak, beating England late on day five of a thrilling first test at an empty Rose Bowl on Sunday.

West Indies went 1-0 up in England for the first time since 2000 thanks to a superb 95 from Jermaine Blackwood which guided them to a target of 200 on the final day with four wickets to spare.

The tourists had resumed after tea on 143-4, still 57 runs from the victory target.

Blackwood and Roston Chase had revived West Indies with a 73-run partnership which ended when Chase was caught behind for 37 against hostile pace from Barbados-born Jofra Archer. Before the pair came together, West Indies were 27-3.

Blackwood and Shane Dowrich shared a 68-run stand for the fifth wicket before stand-in England captain Ben Stokes had ‘keeper Dowrich caught behind for 20. Stokes also claimed Blackwood’s wicket with 11 runs needed with James Anderson providing the catch.

Skipper Jason Holder did play his part as he guided his team over the line. It was a complete team effort as Shannon Gabriel and Holder starred with the ball as a brittle England line-up failed to put up a strong total. Ben Stokes, in his first stint as captain, ends on a losing note.

 Speaking in the post-match conference after the win, Holder said, “One of our best victories. Today was the best day I had in Test cricket. All the bowlers toiled hard, and it was a hard-fought day of Test cricket.”

However, West Indies have gathered valuable 40 points with this emphatic victory against England, who are at No.4 in the points table with 146 points.

 The World Test Championship Points table is led by India, who have lost only two Tests and won seven of the nine Tests they have played so far. India currently have 360 points followed by Australia (296 points) and New Zealand (180).

West Indies’ splendid victory over England in the first Test in Southampton drew rich praise from around the cricketing world, including top players like Virat Kohli and former greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Vivian Richards.

“Wow @windiescricket what a win. Top display of test cricket,” said Kohli on Twitter.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan it was an incredible game of cricket in these tough times.

“Great week of Test Cricket … For the West Indies to have come over to play is remarkable in these times … For them to have played so well & won is incredible … I don’t even think England fans will be too disappointed … bloody love Test cricket,” Vaughan wrote.

Former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop also praised the leadership of captain Jason Holder and the role of coach Phil Simmons in the success.

West Indies have surely set the pace of this Test series by winning the first bout while Englishmen will aim for a comeback in the second Test match which will be played at  Old Trafford on Thursday.

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