Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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WEST INDIES RUNS OUT OF STEAM AGAINST ENGLAND

BBC: Stuart Broad’s 500th Test wicket sent England on the way to completing a series victory over West Indies on the final day of the third Test at Emirates Old Trafford.

Broad had Kraigg Brathwaite lbw to become only the fourth pace bowler and second England player after James Anderson to reach the landmark, and would later take the final wicket to complete his third 10-wicket haul in Tests.

Brathwaite was the first man to fall, West Indies having resumed on 10-2 chasing 399 or, more likely, needing to bat out the day.

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Chris Woakes claimed 5-50 as England dodged the showers to bowl West Indies out for 129, win by 269 runs and take the series 2-1.

After being beaten in the first Test in Southampton, England have come from behind to win a three-match series for the first time since 2008.

They also regain the Wisden Trophy and end the series third in the World Test Championship, behind India and Australia.

In a congested schedule, an entirely separate England squad play three one-day internationals against Ireland in the next week before the first of three Tests against Pakistan begins on 5 August.

West Indies, so competitive for much of the tour, remain without a series victory in the UK since 1988 and have now been beaten on seven consecutive trips to this country.

This will forever be remembered as the first Test series to be played behind closed doors and in a bio-secure environment.

It is to West Indies’ great credit they made the trip at all and even without Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul, who opted out because of coronavirus concerns, they have played their part in producing a compelling and fluctuating contest.

Beginning with both sides taking a knee as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, the tourists were superb in Southampton, securing a memorable victory by chasing 200 to win on the final day.

But they have been beaten twice at Emirates Old Trafford, opting to bowl first after winning the toss on both occasions, and they gradually ran out of steam – perhaps not surprising given they have spent all but one week since 9 June in the same Manchester hotel.

However, in Brathwaite, Brooks and Chase, they have the basis of a solid batting line-up, while captain Holder, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel form a fearsome pace attack.

Their steady improvement in Test cricket is well placed to continue.

‘We owe the West Indies a great deal’

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “England are a better team in these conditions but we owe the West Indies a great deal.

“I dread to think where the game would be in this country right now if they hadn’t agreed to come over.”

West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite: “The West Indies team ran out of steam. They were here for a month before the first Test and chomping at the bit to play at Southampton.

“They did and that game is the blueprint for how West Indies will win Tests – bowl the opposition out cheaply and get just past that total then do it again.

“The management and staff aren’t confident enough in the batting unit to bat first.”

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