Cricket Sports

Windies surrender Wisden with heavy defeat

Another stunning batting collapse sent West Indies to their heaviest-ever Test defeat at Old Trafford in terms of runs as they conceded the three-match series, 2-1, to end their all too brief hold on the coveted Wisden Trophy on Tuesday.

Needing to bat the entire day to force a draw with the victory target of 399 already of academic interest only, West Indies capitulated for 129 in their second innings an hour before the scheduled tea interval, to slump to 296-run loss.

For the Caribbean side, the defeat was their second at the ground in as many weeks following their 113-run loss in the second Test, and it ruined their hopes of claiming a first series win on English soil in 32 years.

Yet again, the Windies’ much-maligned batting lineup lay at fault, failing to last two sessions, even after Monday’s penultimate day was completely abandoned due to rain.

Shai Hope, under intense scrutiny due to a protracted run of poor form, top-scored with 31 while Jermaine Blackwood got 23 and Shamarh Brooks, 22 but no other batsman passed 20 in a hugely mediocre effort.

The innings was taken apart by the outstanding Stuart Broad who grabbed another two wickets to finish with four for 36 and match figures of 10 for 67.

Broad became only the seventh bowler and fourth seamer to achieve 500 wickets in Tests when he trapped opener Kraigg Brathwaite lbw for 19 in the morning session.

Seamer Chris Woakes supported with five for 50 as West Indies slumped to 84 for five at lunch and then lost their last five wickets for 45 runs in quick time afterwards in spite of one short rain interruption.

“We still didn’t get the runs we were probably looking for. I felt the wickets were good enough here for us to at least put in a bigger first innings effort in both Test matches [at Old Trafford],” captain Jason Holder said afterwards.

“If you look through our batting performances, you had plenty starts. Quite a few guys got half-centuries, got into the 40s, 30s but didn’t quite kick on.

“I think the difference with England is when (Ben) Stokes got in he went big, when (Dom) Sibley got in he went big and unfortunately we didn’t do that.

“I felt our bowlers tried in some very tough conditions. But credit to all of them, I must all always commend them for the effort they made and I think it was not as bad as it looked.”

Needing a massive effort to save the Test, force a drawn series and keep hold of the Wisden Trophy, West Indies lost three wickets in the first session, to stumble early on after resuming precariously placed on 10 for two.

Not for the first time, Brathwaite found himself trapped on his crease after he had added 17 to his overnight two but Hope and Brooks then lifted their side’s hopes in a 34-run, fourth wicket stand.

Desperate to end the series with a score, Hope struck six fours – mostly an array of elegant off-side drives – in a fluent 38-ball knock while Brooks faced 48 deliveries and counted two fours.

However, both fell inside the last 31 balls before lunch, taken 23 minutes early due to rain. Hope was the first to go, pulling at a short one from Woakes and skying a catch to Broad running in from mid-on, capping a miserable series that yielded a paltry 105 runs from six innings.

And Brooks followed soon afterwards, caught behind off the inside edge playing back to Woakes, with lunch in sight.

The visitors’ decline continued 20 minutes after the interval when Roston Chase, unbeaten on five at lunch, was run out by Dom Bess’s direct throw at the striker’s end after adding just two, as he hesitated over a single with Blackwood.

And Holder perished for 12, lbw to Woakes playing forward lazily, to leave the Windies sinking quickly at 99 for seven.

Six overs later, Woakes cleaned up both Shane Dowrich (8) and Rahkeem Cornwall (2) both lbw in the space of five balls before Broad fittingly ended the innings by removing Blackwood to a leg-side catch by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

West Indies won the opening Test by four-wickets at Southampton earlier this month.

CMC

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