England v West Indies Summer Series 2017
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Review of "England v West Indies Summer Series 2017"
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West Indies had not won a series away from home since 2012 and are without a Test victory in England for 17 years, an unthinkable statistic back in the 1980s. The England team was coming off an excellent win over South Africa 3 - 1 and set to fill their boots for the second half of the summer test cricket. The West Indies players are always in dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board over money and the like and have fallen out of love with international test cricket. But England have one only on series in the West Indies and so still some pride their.
1st Test @ Edgebaston
The first floodlit test in England with the pink ball offered little hope to the West Indies as the 11 they put out was a shadow of the sides that used to tour in the 1980s. They bickered amongst themselves as Root won the toss and smashed a century alongside Alistair Cook for 348-3 at the close at 9:45pm on day one on Thursday night after new man Stoneman - the oldest England debutant this century at 30 - and Westley made 8 each at 39-2. Cook and Root put on a record 248 for the third wicket in tests at Edgebaston. Stoneman is the 12th man to partner Cook at the top of the order in five years. Compton was by far the most successful with an average 56 partnership with Cook but edged out of the team because the players didn’t really like him.
Cook and Root run riot
Root was eventually bowled by Roach for 136 and his 13th test century. It was Roots 11th straight half - century or more in a test match and equals the record of Bill Edritch. AB De villiers held the record on 12. He also has current average of over 60 in tests, second only to Herbert Sutcliffe, a fellow Yorkie. The only other to reach 60 was Dennis Compton. He passed Graham Gouch in the process as the highest test run scorer in England with 5,973 runs but Cook unbeaten on 153 overnight in their 248 partnership. For Cook, his past 98 Test innings had produced 31 scores in excess of 50, yet just five centuries.
The ball in that tricky twilight period had not had an effect this time. The crowd had not suffered either with Saturday and Sunday sold out although the ground did begin to empty fast after 8 for the last trains and buses.Day two and record non Ashes Test crowd of 22,312 pitched up in Birmingham for the annual Brummie piss up as England continued to pile on the runs on a rain affected day. Cook pressed on and on, putting on 162 with David Malan. Malan’s 62 was the highest score for a number five for England this summer.
Cook spoils the West Indies broth
As a big blob of rain approached Egdbaston the England team pressed the gas a little more for the 500 plus and declared on 514-8 when Cook was finally out for 248 to have little go at the Windies before the close, 13-1 when the covers went on. In reaching 155, Cook became the leading run-scorer in Tests at Edgebaston, overtaking David Gower's tally of 676. Cook has passed 200 four times in Test cricket, level with Len Hutton and behind only Walter Hammond's seven among England batsmen. Cook is the first England opener to score a double century in the first innings of a Test since Graham Gooch's 333 against India in 1990.
Day threeAfter the perfunctory 500 would the West Indies boys on a decent pitch against unfamiliar English seam put up any resistance with those familiar rapier attacking shots. They have no one playing in the county championship these days and so the conditions as alien as ever. At 45-1 and the new ball seen off in the first hour you thought maybe but Anderson got into them and they were soon 101-6 with young Jermaine Blackwood the only resistance. His unbeaten 79 off 76 balls in a miserable 168 all out was a shining star in a dying Caribbean universe. Anderson took 3 more towards the 500 and Root put them back in, almost certainly killing any chance of a lucrative Sunday crowd.
It wasn’t much better second time around as England had a tempting 67 overs left to win it in three. Braithwaite got them to 45-1 again but wickets tumbling at the other end. When he was out for 40 at tea, 76-4 was soon 102-5 and then 137 all out for England 3rd biggest test runs wins over the West Indies at 209 runs and the Windies 6th biggest defeat against anyone. It was the first time they had ever lost 19 wickets in the day, the second time this summer for the England bowlers. In the process Stuart Broad passed Ian Botham’s 383 test wickets to go second behind his bowling partner Jimmy Anderson on 492. It is the first time that England's two leading wicket-takers have played in the same match since Fred Trueman and Brian Statham in 1963
England’s top Test wicket takersAnderson – 492
Broad – 384
Botham – 383
Willis – 323
Trueman – 307
England win by 209 runs
2nd Test@ Headingley
In my cricket writing career, as feeble as it may be, I have learned that you can get players to really perform by being critical of them. It worked a treat at Northants. I’m currently winding up little Ben Duckett, a tremendous young talent, but not firing this year. The West Indies certainly didn’t like the stick since Brum and keen to put things right at Leeds, Boycott calling them the worst Windies team in 50 years, and other things…England won the toss and batted first, pace bowler Gabriel in for the Windies, Woakes in for the unlucky Roland – Jones. But England are thinking Australia now. As usual they lost early wickets and 77-4 at lunch. But Root did it again and made a World Record 12th score of over 50 in 12 straight test matches, level with de Villiers. A 79 partnership with Stokes started the recovery but snared by the spinner for 59 at 140-5 with the West Indies still ahead. If Root is reliable for England in a pickle then Stokes is dynamic, going through the gears after lunch to go into tea at 82* at 210-6, putting 68 on with Moeen.
After tea he was flying, his bat going like a pinball flipper, putting on 30 more with the returning Woakes before wholing out to Kemar Roach for exactly 100 (17x4). That triggered a quick ending to the England innings for 258 all out, Roach and Gabriel with 4 each. But if the West Indies had taken their catches England would have been 170 all out.
England get chased into a cornerDay two and Anderson raced towards his 500th test wicket in the first half hour with the first three wickets before the West Indies battled back to lunch for 97-3, Kraigg Braithwaite 50*.After lunch it was one - way traffic as both Braithwaite and young Shia Hope batted out the session with a hundred for Braithwaite and 85* for Hope for 206-3 and England facing a big deficit. The slaughter continued after tea for the 200 partnership and a ton for Hope. Braithwaite was eventually bowled by Broad for 134 for a 246 partnership. Chase came and went quick as Windies closed the day on 307-5 after some lofty lusty strikes from Blackwood.
Hope for the West Indies
Day three and two balls bowled of it and Anderson on hatrick for 5-70 with Pope gone for 147. But Blackwood kept up the tempo after Moeen shelled him with a sitter on 21 and cracked a fifty partnership with Holder (43). Blackwood continued to blast away to be run out on 49 as the innings closed on 427, an impressive 169 on. This was the first time in three years the West Indies had passed 400.England had a lot of work to do as Cook (23) and Stoneman put on fifty for the opening partnership with Westley’s Ashes chances ending on 8 to lovely ball from Holder. Stoneman made 52 before being bowled, also to the big paceman, but much better Ashes prospect because of the way he plays. 133-3 at the close still had the Windies comfortably ahead.
A Five day test?
Root and Malan took the game towards parity as the pitch held up and they made 118 together, the captain out sweeping for 72, Malan a four hour 61, he, too, on the plane now. The West Indies heads were down as Stokes smashed it around some in pursuit of being the first person to score a century in each innings of first class match at Headingley but out slogging after tea for 58. For some reason with England just 153 on and a little wobble of 3-14 that didn’t lift the Windies spirits much at 327-7 as Mooen Ali and Chris Woakes filled that confidence void after tea with some delicious hitting, putting on a record 117 in just 23 overs, equaling England’s Headingley record, made by Sir Ian Botham and Graham Dilley against Australia in 1981.Woakes looks every inch the test star and straight back in the grove here with 61* to Moeen’s more attacking 84 off just 94 balls. Ali is a real match winner for England now and if they can get Wood fit for Australian it’s going to be some series.
Root boldly declared 321 on because England scored so quickly and so got 6 cheeky overs at the end of a thrilling days test cricket –for no reward - in which England scored their highest second innings total without a century, 490-8 declared. Gabriel managed 20 no balls of which ten were missed by the umpires in total of 37 extras.
Hope is restored
Hope was going to go on though and bagged that record, the first man to score a ton in each innings at Headingley. He and Chase put on 49 for the 4th wicket as that historic win became a real possibility as Root was Cleary regretting that declaration. When you are 1-0 up in 3 test match series you close it out with at least a draw so you can’t lose the series. The new ball didn’t help as Blackwood blazed away in failing light. The floodlights were on but the rules say the players could have come off if the readings fell below a previous light level the players had come off for in the match. A round of applause for the umpires to keep them out past that point as Blackwood was caught for 41 off Mooen with one run to win off seven overs and Hope cutting a four for victory on 118*. It was quite a test and pride restored for the calypso boys as they head to Lords for the showdown. It was the West Indies first win in England since 2000 and only the fourth time they had beaten a top 8 nation in 20 years anywhere.
West Indies win by 5 wickets
3rd @Lords TestSep- 7th-11th
It was the first ever September Lords test and West Indies decided to bat on a pitch that had suffered in the wet month of August with big fairy circles on that pitch. They didn’t last long, three early wickets on a truncated first two sessions for Anderson to take him to 499 and then Stokes finished them off with brilliant 6-20 for 123 all out. The ball was as lively off the pitch as in the air as the snarling Stokes continues to tune up nicely for this winters Ashes. Stokes is just one of six to be up on the fabled honors board for both bat and ball. Make no mistake, a lot will be on his shoulders in Australia as Broad and Anderson are not that effective down there.England took the field with the floodlights soon on and soon in trouble as it was hard to pick the red ball and closed on 45-4 with Cook and Root out and nothing for new boys Stoneman and Westley.
Rain around on day two and Malin (20) soon back in the hutch before the next big shower. But Stokes crashed on in Superman form and bought up his fifty with a crisp drive before being bowled for 60, out two balls before the same way but given as a no-ball at 128-7, 5 ahead. This is the first time Stokes has taken five wickets and scored a fifty in the same match.Moeen slashed one to third slip for Kemar Roche’s fifth wicket and the proud young man up on the honors board with 5-72. Broad (38) threw the bat down the tail and England closed on 194 all out. Holder finished with 4-54.
The West Indies were still in this as the third rain break and bad light (under the lights) closed the day at 93-3 with Powell cracking a typical Caribbean 45 and that man Shia Hope 35 not out. Anderson picked up that milestone 500 test wicket by knocking back Braithwaite’s stump.
Top 10(Chucker) Muralitheran –800
(Aus) Warne – 708
(Ind) Kumble – 619
(Aus) McGrath – 563
(West Indies) Walsh –519
(England) Anderson – 501
(India) Kapil Dev – 434
(NZ) Hadlee – 431
(RSA) Pollock – 421
(RSA) Steyn – 417
Day three and Shia Hope was their only hope and another fifty for the exciting young player. But this was Jimmies test and he carved through him and the rest with brilliant swing and seam to take career best figures of 7-42 and the series for 177 all out.England needed 101 to win and no problem, Cook LBW for 17 but Stoneman securing his Ashes tour with 40* and 44* for Westley, not so sure of Australia. 9 wicket win was more than fair.
England win by 9 wickets
=ENGLAND WIN THE SERIES 2-1===
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