The Wisden Trophy is now England’s in perpetuity – future series between England and the West Indies will be played for the Richards – Botham Trophy. This post describes the concluding stages of the match.
THE BROAD/ WOAKES SHOW
After yesterday was washed out the question was whether there would be enough play today for England to complete the job. There were a couple of interruptions, but England took wickets regularly. Broad began today’s events by bagging his 500th test wicket, the seventh bowler to reach that landmark. His victim was Kraigg Brathwaite, who three years earlier had been James Anderson’s 500th test victim. Then Woakes bowled a marvellous spell in which he bagged five wickets, while Roston Chase was run out courtesy of a direct hit on the stumps by Dom Bess. Broad came back at the the end, and at 2:58PM he had Jermaine Blackwood edging to Jos Buttler for his tenth wicket of the match to go with his score of 62. The West Indies were all out for 129 and the final margin was 269 runs. Dominic Bess did not get a bowl in either innings such was the dominance of England’s pace bowlers.
COMMISERATIONS TO THE WEST INDIES
All true cricket fans should be deeply grateful to the West Indies for undertaking this tour given the circumstances, and they played superbly in the first match at the Ageas Bowl. They were badly beaten in both the games played at Manchester to end up losing the series. Jason Holder was guilty of two poor decisions after winning the toss in both games. Bowling first might have been justifiable the first time round although doing so is always a gamble (nb I specifically did not criticize England’s decision to bat first in the opener for this precise reason), but the second time round it was utterly inexcusable – not only did he know that doing so at the same ground had backfired a few days previously, he had also selected an extra spinner in the person Rahkeem Cornwall, certainly the heaviest top level cricketer since Warwick Armstrong and possibly since the mighty ‘Lion of Kent’, Alfred Mynn, star of the 1840s, and for the selection of the extra spinner to work you need to bowl last. The West Indies batters had a tendency to get caught on the crease rather than getting fully forward which meant that they suffered a lot of LBWs.
ENGLAND PLAYER RATINGS
- Rory Burns – 8.5 – 57 in the first innings, 90 in the second getting out playing aggressively, the dismissal the triggered the declaration.
- Dom Sibley – 6.5 – a blob in the first innings, but a 50 in the second, and he did show some attacking intent with England having an eye on a declaration.
- Joe Root – 7.5 – failed in the first innings, but a blistering 68 not out off 56 balls in the second propelled England to their declaration, and he handled the side well in the field.
- Ben Stokes – 5 – a quiet match for the talisman, scoring 20 in his only innings and not bowling due to a niggle.
- Ollie Pope – 8 – his first innings 91 was a magnificent innings, he took a splendid catch but was robbed of the credit for it because the bowler had overstepped.
- Jos Buttler – 5.5 – 67 in the first dig, when England needed runs from him. Struggled somewhat behind the sticks. His first innings score, while valuable in the context of this match should not save him – he has had so many chances that he was bound to make a decent contribution somewhere along the way.
- Chris Woakes – 7 – did little until the final day, but when he did get into the game did so in style with a five-for.
- Dom Bess – 6 – the off spinner was not called on to bowl, but he made a crucial contribution with the bat and fielded superbly, including a direct hit run out in the final innings.
- Jofra Archer – 6 – not the best match for the fast bowler, with only one wicket to show for his efforts, but he put in some hard yards.
- Stuart Broad – 10 – A blistering innings when England were far from secure having slipped from 258-4 to 280-8 in the first innings, 6-31 in the first West Indies innings and 4-36 in the second, the first three to open them right up, and fittingly the final wicket to fall. He also pouched a couple of catches, and as I said about Stokes in the previous match even Craig Revel-Horwood would rate this performance a 10.
- James Anderson – 7 – only two wickets in the match, both in the first innings for the veteran, but he bowled very well and played his part in this triumph.
My usual sign off…
PS – Stuart Broad has been named Player of the Series, and just too late to save the West Indies the Manchester rain has returned (a bit like Adelaide 2010, when shortly after Australia were bowled out to give England an innings win the heavens opened).