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England claim 19 wickets in single day to crush hapless West Indies and claim first Test victory

The Independent logo The Independent 20-08-2017 Chris Stocks
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The cliché of choice for England cricketers is that Test cricket is titled as such because it is a test. Well, this innings and 209-run demolition of a feeble West Indies inside three days was anything but.

Joe Root’s team will take the plaudits - and the 1-0 lead in this three-match series - for finishing off their opponents in ruthless fashion.

However, the fact 19 West Indian wickets fell on this third and final day is a damning indictment on a once proud cricketing nation.

Sport is all about the thrill of competition, the uncertainty of results in closely-fought encounters. This mismatch, though, was about as competitive as a Formula One car racing a horse and trap.

Amid the carnage, there was a slice of history for Stuart Broad, whose five wickets in this match saw him overtake Sir Ian Botham to move into second place on England’s all-time list of Test wicket-takers.

Only James Anderson, whose overall tally now stands at 492 after he also picked up five in this match, is ahead of Broad.

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The Nottinghamshire bowler, who now has 384 wickets in the oldest form of the game, took three for four in 11 balls under the Edgbaston floodlights to hasten his team to victory.

But in terms of drama, this first day-night Test in the UK was a huge disappointment.

Not much was expected of West Indies given they had lost their past five series in this country.

You do have to wonder, though, how suitable this kind of non-event is for England in terms of preparation for this winter’s Ashes.

Starting the day on 44-1 in their first innings, West Indies begun their second barely a session later after being skittled out for 168. In all their final nine first-innings wickets fell for 124 in 31 overs. Only Jermaine Blackwood, left stranded on 79 not out, showed any fight.

With a lead of 346, there was no doubt Root would enforce the follow-on.

And the faith in his bowlers was fully justified as they ran through their opponents again, dismissing them for 137 in just 45.4 overs.

By the time England had made their opponents bat again, the fans inside a packed-out Edgbaston had already seemingly lost interest in this match as a contest.

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Indeed, as the West Indies openers sought to see off the new ball in their second innings, those inside the boisterous Hollies Stand were more enthralled by a contest of their own – getting their inflatable ball back from the stewards. One by one the punters ran to the corner of the stand – a group of sheep was followed by scores of chickens, some Mexican banditos and whatever the collective noun for Fred Flintstones is.

They got it back, too, after a few minutes of chanting their demands, the rest of the 6,000-capacity Stand joining in to offer their support.

However, as the floodlights kicked in, Anderson soon diverted their attentions back to the field as he dismissed Kieran Powell with a delivery that nipped away, took the edge and flew into Alastair Cook’s hands at first slip.

West Indies were now 15 for one in their second innings, still needing to see off another 60 overs to take this match into a fourth day. By tea, with the tourists 76 for four, those chances looked remote.

Toby Roland-Jones, weighing in with his third wicket of the day, dismissed Kyle Hope lbw before Ben Stokes extinguished West Indies’ last Hope – Shai – thanks to a smart catch from Root that left the tourists on 60-3.

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Moeen Ali removed Brathwaite lbw on review for 40 with the final ball before tea. He then ensured Blackwood would only add 12 second-innings runs to his fine effort in the first dig, having the Jamaican stumped by Jonny Bairstow shortly after the interval, West Indies now 102 for five.

Just two more runs were added to that total before Broad struck in successive deliveries, Roston Chase trapped lbw and Jason Holder caught superbly by Cook, to draw level with Botham on the all-time list.

Those wickets also gave Broad the chance to register his third Test hat-trick, a feat no bowler has ever achieved. However, Kemar Roach’s solid forward defensive put paid to those hopes.

Yet Broad, now in one of those irresistible spells, soon overtook Botham by bowling Shane Dowrich, West Indies now 115 for eight.

Anderson pushed the tourists further towards the brink with a fine delivery that bowled Roach.

And victory was sealed in the very next over, Roland-Jones having Alzarri Joseph caught by Stokes to put the West Indies out of their misery.

Anderson had set the tone in the first over of the day when his short ball had Kyle Hope caught at gully in the very first over.

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He then ran out Powell and bowled Chase via an inside edge for an 11-ball duck to reduce West Indies to 47 for four in their first innings.

There was to prove little respite for the tourists even if Blackwood and Shai Hope put on a spirited stand of 42 to temporarily stem the flow of wickets.

That resistance was ended, though, by Roland-Jones, who first bowled Hope and then trapped Dowrich lbw to reduce West Indies to 101 for six.

Blackwood was still showing fight and the Jamaican reached his tenth Test half-century in 49 balls.

He was running out of partners, though, and lost two more before lunch, his captain Holder falling for 11 on review after edging Moeen behind and Roach bowled by Broad.

The tourists went into the interval on 145 for eight and were all out for 168 half an hour into the second session, Broad dismissing Joseph lbw and Tom Westley running out last man Miguel Cummins to leave Blackwood stranded 21 runs short of a second Test century.

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