Jermaine Blackwood struck a magnificent half-century to guide West Indies to a memorable victory in the first Test of the three-match series against England at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Blackwood showed immense courage and inspirational determination to take Caribbeans over the line in the first contest post coronavirus pandemic.
While chasing the target of 200 runs, the visitors had an abysmal start as they lost three wickets in quick successions in the first session on Day 5. England paceman Jofra Archer demolished the top-order of West Indies when he claimed two wickets in successive overs. The right-arm speedster first dismissed Kraigg Brathwaite and then he sent Shamarh Brooks back to the pavilion.
As if the trouble wasn’t enough already, Mark Wood shattered the defence of Shai Hope and Windies were struggling badly at 35/3 till lunch break. However, then Rostan Chase and Blackwood steadied the ship and added a crucial stand of 73 runs for the fourth-wicket before Archer struck again and dismissed Chase (37) off a nasty bouncer.
Jof makes it happen! What a delivery! 🚀
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 12, 2020
Blackwood stayed in the middle and kept on scoring runs. He stitched another critical partnership with wicket-keeper batsman Shane Dowrich. The duo added 68 runs for the fifth wicket. English skipper Ben Stokes broke the run-stand when he dismissed Dowrich for 20 runs.
Blackwood, on the other hand, kept his end alive and took the tourists really close to the finishing line. He was looking set to score a brilliant century, but Stokes had some other plans. The southpaw dismissed Blackwood for 95. However, the Caribbean batter did his job pretty well. When he left the ground, his side needed just 11 runs for the victory.
Jermaine Blackwood falls for 95!
— ICC (@ICC) July 12, 2020
West Indies skipper Jason Holder along with opener John Campbell, who earlier got retired-hurt due to an injury, did the remaining job as the pair chased down the target successfully and defeated the hosts by four wickets.
Here is how cricket fraternity reacted to West Indies’ win over England:
Wow @windiescricket what a win. Top display of test cricket.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) July 12, 2020
Brilliant from the @windiescricket 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— Andrew Flintoff (@flintoff11) July 12, 2020
West Indian captains with maximum Test victories
36 – Clive Lloyd (74 Tests)
27 – Viv Richards (50)
11 – Richie Richardson (24)
11 – Jason Holder (33)
10 – Brian Lara (47)#ENGvWI #EngvWIN
This is Holder's 4th win over England in six Tests as captain!
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 12, 2020
— Daren Sammy (@darensammy88) July 12, 2020
Good all-round performances by players from both teams.
Jermaine Blackwood played a crucial knock in a tense situation to see @windiescricket through. An important win which has set up the series perfectly. #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/PLbJlqIe8c
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 12, 2020
WHAT A WIN!!!
Yes boys @windiescricket 🔥
— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) July 12, 2020
West Indies win the Black Lives Matter Test
Top stuff gentlemen 👊🏾 https://t.co/DdVmULiBuN
— Carlos Brathwaite (@TridentSportsX) July 12, 2020
Great characters shown in this win by some key players.. congratulations to coach , capt and team https://t.co/sSEMl0kAz6
— Courtney A Walsh (@CuddyWalsh) July 12, 2020
Congratulations @windiescricket complete team performance!
Blackwood just brilliant under pressure. Just the kind of start cricket needed after this long break.#ENGvWI #ENGvsWI pic.twitter.com/o2cHuUAlYo
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) July 12, 2020
Test Cricket matters, winning overseas matters, @windiescricket doing well in Test cricket matters. Great to see Test Match cricket back and great to see West Indies win. A phenomenal effort from the whole WI team. Congratulations #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/yKUILMdOEr
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 12, 2020
Many congratulations @windiescricket on a brilliant win. Great display of skills and maturity and extremely well led by Jason Holder. Top knock from Blackwood in the fourth innings and West Indies showing how it is done #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/Y09bLzwaYk
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) July 12, 2020
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) July 12, 2020
Validation for the new Windies approach , discipline n doggedness over flair . Shout out to both the sides and everyone involved for getting us live cricket again #ENGvsWI
— Deep Dasgupta (@DeepDasgupta7) July 12, 2020
— Ashwell Prince (@ashyp_5) July 12, 2020