Blackwood’s 95 Runs Steal England Win

A strong start into the final day for England – thanks largely to Jofra Archer – was countered by 95 by Jermaine Blackwood, who led the West Indies to their 200 chases to win in the fourth innings.

Blackwood 95 Runs

England started the day with two remaining gates to extend its 170 run lead. Archer freed his arms several times on his way to 23 and extended the lead to 199 when he was the last man to give Shannon Gabriel his ninth wicket of the game and a five-wicket move in the innings – his sixth in tests and achievement, for whom the fast bowler was named player of the game.

West Indies needed 200 to win and had a bad start. First, John Campbell had to retire injured after an Archer York man put his toe on it before Kraigg Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks were quickly released from England in successive overs.

The batsmen would have been relieved to see Archer take off, but his successor Mark Wood struck his fourth ball and struck Shai Hope’s defense to knock the stump over.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Man of the Match Shannon Gabriel of the West Indies poses with his award during the post match presentations after the 1st #RaiseTheBat Test match at The Ageas Bowl on July 12, 2020 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)

With West Indies 27/3 and uncertainty as to whether Campbell could strike again, England looked like a firm favorite, but Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood teamed up to get their side out of the danger zone. The pair fought against a bowling display that was significantly more disciplined than in the first innings, although it also benefited from some slip-ups on the field when England scored two catches and missed a relatively direct exit chance in quick succession.

Archer was again the man for the job in England when he found a steep jump that forced Chase to hit a catch for 37 to leave the score 100/4. But Blackwood remained determined and teamed up with Shane Dowrich for another fifty-year partnership – the seventh of the game.

Dowrich survived several skimpy calls, but fought an enemy bowling from Archer to reach 20. Then he seemed to have been released by Stokes, which meant a slip to slip until repeats showed that it wasn’t a ball. But at the next ball he pushed it again, this time to the goalkeeper, and he had to leave with 32 runs that were still needed for the win.

Blackwood continued to strike with intelligence, moving steadily towards its second century of testing as the target became more and more focused. But with just 11 runs and five runs for his century, he couldn’t suppress his drive from Ben Stokes and gave James Anderson a catch in the middle.

John Campbell returned to the kink and joined Captain Jason Holder to end the pursuit and secure a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. The second test begins on Thursday, July 16 in Old Trafford.

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Updated: July 13, 2020 — 2:05 am

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