Kemar Roach and captain Jason Holder took four wickets each as West Indies thumped England by 10 wickets in the second test in Antigua to gain an unbeatable 2-0 series lead on Saturday. With fellow pace bowler Alzarri Joseph chipping in with two top-order wickets, including the prized scalp of captain Joe Root, the hosts bowled out England for 132 in the second innings.
Joseph’s performance came hours after his mother died following a long battle with a brain tumour.
West Indies needed only 14 runs in their second innings, and they polished them off quickly to win with more than two days to spare. John Campbell clinched victory in appropriate Calypso fashion with a six over mid-wicket as batting great Viv Richards, after whom the stadium is named, grinned broadly in the crowd, ever the epitome of cool in his dark sunglasses.
West Indies lead the three-test series 2-0. They won the first test by 381 runs in Barbados. It is only the second time in the past 10 series that West Indies have won the Wisden Trophy. England have dominated over the past two decades with seven series wins, while one was drawn.
Holder said his West Indies team had played to honour Joseph’s late mother. “We all rallied around one and other,” he said. “We wanted to do it for her, and for Alzarri to come out after that kind of news, the way he bowled was exceptional.
“This one is for him and his family.”
Root acknowledged that England had been outplayed, placing the blame on the batting. “I thought as a bowling group we worked exceptionally hard and did some good stuff,” he said. “Scoring under 200 in both innings is not going to win you many games of cricket.
“It’s been a disappointing performance with the bat here and last week.” Root had the misfortune of losing the toss, which meant England were always facing an uphill task having to bat first on a green pitch that offered the fast bowlers plenty of assistance early on.
“West Indies had that opportunity (to bowl first) and exploited it,” Root said. “Once the game gets going you can’t look at things like that. You’ve got to look at things you can control.”
Frank discussion set stage for West Indies turnaround, says Holder
Frank discussion among the players after a short but dismal series against Bangladesh last year proved a turning point for West Indies, captain Jason Holder said on Saturday after his team clinched a series win over England in the Caribbean. West Indies won the second test by 10 wickets in Antigua, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series.
“I think we’re hungry for success. Credit to the boys for sticking to the task,” Holder said at the victory presentation. The transformation came after West Indies lost both tests against Bangladesh in November and December.
The result in the second test was especially pitiful, defeat by an innings and 184 runs in Dhaka. Holder missed the tour due to a shoulder injury, but was kept apprised of things. “After the tour of Bangladesh the guys had a really long, hard talk in the dressing room,” Holder said.
“It was something that was really needed. We wanted to get some honestly in the dressing room. We touched on a few issues.” Holder and several others were brought back for the current England series, including number four batsman Darren Bravo, who ended a two-year exile after a falling out with the team’s governing body.
The classy left-hander has a test average of almost 40 and though he failed twice in the first test, he was key in the second.
Bravo batted patiently on Friday and Saturday, frustrating the England attack by occupying the crease for 342 minutes for 50 runs, the third slowest half century in test history.
His performance, among others, leaves Holder hopeful the good times might be back for West Indies after years in the doldrums. “Hopefully we can stay together for years to come.
“We want to be consistent, move up the rankings,” he added with his team currently languishing eighth in the test rankings.