England have regained the Wisden Trophy after comfortably taking the victory in the third and final test against the West Indies.
After a decent first-innings from England, West Indies failed to make an impact with the bat and their poor showing at the crease enabled the hosts to go on and set an almost unreachable score, with the fourth day of the test being a complete washout.
England took all eight remaining wickets before tea on the fifth day, with Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes starring as they bowled their way to the trophy.
Toss Win: West Indies (elected to bowl first).
Kemar Roach got off to the best possible in his first over when he trapped Dom Sibley (0) lbw – and England’s opener went for a duck in a terrible start for him after a brilliant first-innings in the second test. The hosts did manage to stabilise themselves but lost another wicket before lunch when Joe Root (17) was run out. This was a second consecutive run out for the England captain, he would have been very disappointed to be gone before the first interval.
West Indies thought they may have got the key wicket to trigger an England collapse when Roach bowled Ben Stokes (20) with a jaffa of a ball, before Rory Burns (57) was finally dismissed when he edged Royston Chase’s delivery to Rahkeem Cornwall. At 122-4, the hosts were in trouble.
However, Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler started to build a valuable partnership at the crease and were 134-4 before tea.
After tea, Ollie Pope reached his 50 in 77 balls – a pretty decent run rate for a test. Both men at the crease seemed to get into their stride against spinners Cornwall and Chase before Pope survived a review.
Buttler picked up his half-century just before 6pm, although bad light just over 15 minutes later stopped play on the opening day, with England at 258-4.
The West Indies must have thought they were in for another tough day when Pope’s outside edge was dropped by Cornwall at first slip. However, the batsman (91) was dismissed not too long after when Gabriel bowled him – and this is when the wickets started to fall. Chris Woakes (1) was bowled by Roach, Buttler (67) edged Gabriel to Holder at second slip and Jofra Archer’s (3) outside edge from Roach’s delivery also found its way to the West Indies captain. From 262-4, England had fallen to 280-8.
However, Stuart Broad brightened up England’s morning when he created a solid partnership with Dom Bess (18) and fired his way to a half-century in just 33 balls. This helped to add 76 runs to the England total before Broad (62) was caught by Blackwood near the boundary. The tourists managed to finish the innings off before lunch when the captain’s delivery was edged by Anderson (11) into the hands of Cornwall. 369 all out – a decent total from the hosts.
England started well after lunch as well when Braithwaite (1) edged a Broad delivery to Joe Root at first slip, before Archer took a wicket on his return with a bouncer when John Campbell’s (32) attempted block on the back foot ended up in Rory Burns’ palms. The hosts managed to dismiss Shai Hope (17) too before tea when Anderson’s delivery forced a slight edge to Buttler – and the West Indies went into the interval in a precarious position at 59-3.
Anderson took another wicket with an inside edge from Brooks (4) and Jason Holder had to survive two separate reviews early in his innings. He would survive until the next day, unlike partner Jermaine Blackwood (26) who fell victim to a brilliant Woakes delivery. The tourists managed to recover to 137-6 until bad light stopped play again on day two.
England struggled to get fully into their rhythm in the first half an hour of day three, although they thought they had taken their first wicket of the day when Ollie Pope took a wonderful catch. However, Chris Woakes had bowled a no-ball and Jason Holder survived.
Holder (46) was dismissed by Stuart Broad just before noon when the hosts turned up the heat. Cornwall (10) also fell victim to the bowler, both lbw. Two failed reviews by the tourists. Broad carried on this brilliant spell when Roach (0) edged his delivery to Joe Root at first slip before Dowrich (37) swatted another one of his deliveries up in the air and into the hands of Woakes. This took Broad to six wickets in the first innings, with the West Indies falling from 178-6 to 197 all out.
With the weather forecast for the fourth day looking grim, England needed to change their style and start scoring as many runs as possible like they did in their second innings in the previous test – and went in at lunch 10-0 after four overs.
West Indies suffered another blow when Dowrich suffered a facial injury and had to be replaced by Joshua Da Silva, although they still had to do everything they could to unsettle the hosts.
Despite frustrations over Burns’ and Sibley’s low scoring rate, the pair managed to strike up a 114 run partnership and went in at tea for 86 without loss, before Holder caught Sibley (56) lbw.
Now was the time for Joe Root (68 not out) to step up and increase the urgency – and did just that by clocking up a half-century in 49 balls, with him and Burns (90) batting well until they were 226 runs into their second innings. The latter was caught out by sub wicketkeeper Da Silva from Chase’s delivery – and England declared at 226-2, setting a target of 399 for the West Indies.
The hosts and Stuart Broad struck twice between the start of the West Indies’ second innings and stumps, taking the wickets of Campbell (0) and nightwatchman Roach (4). The West Indies struggled through the rest of the day and finished off at 10-2.
As expected, the day was a complete washout and this left England needing eight wickets on the final day if they were to take the series win.
Despite a short stoppage for rain, England started day five well with Stuart Broad clinching his 500th test wicket at the expense of Braithwaite (19). After a short period of stability, West Indies went from 71-3 to 79-5 with Woakes dismissing both Hope (31) and Brooks (22). At that point, the tourists still had to face many overs before they could even think about lunch at 84-5. Fortunately for the West Indies, rain stopped play again and lunch came early – and this was the last chance for captain Jason Holder to save his series.
However, things did not get any better for them and Royston Chase (7) was run out by Dom Bess when he went for an optimistic single run, before rain stopped play temporarily again. This rain did not last long though much to the West Indies’ disappointment and the captain’s series was over when a Woakes lbw dismissed Holder (12), leaving them at 99-7 and the writing was on the wall.
Two more lbws from Woakes at the expense of Dowrich (8) and Cornwall (2) left England within one wicket of winning the series – with the bowler taking his fourth and fifth wicket of the series.
Stuart Broad finished the job off when his delivery came off the glove of Jermaine Blackwood (23), with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler taking the catch.
Result: England win by 269 runs
Report written exclusively for golear.co.uk