Sunday, 26 April 2015

Review of the 2nd Test in the West Indies

Well, would you Adam and Eve it? We've only gone and won a Test match abroad for the first time since 2012. For four days this pitch looked like it was like nytol. In 1983 this beautiful island might have seen bloodshed in Operation Urgent Fury, but there was nothing Urgent or Furious about this game for four days. A cure for insomnia had been found and it was this peaceful surface in Grenada that looked like this game would finish in a draw. Then suddenly like after dining on a kebab in Camden Town, a collapse after lunch happened, and England won at a canter by nine wickets. Here's a review of the Test...

Grenada Cricket Stadium
St George's, Grenada
The game started with England having brought back Moeen Ali for Tredwell and looking to have a very strong tail indeed. Ali, Buttler, Stokes and Jordan can all hold a bat and when you think of the diplodocus like tails of yesteryear with Giddins, Tufnell, Caddick and the like, this one resembled that of a Manx cat. Only Broad and Anderson were genuine tail enders, although I would consider sticking Jimmy at ten.

This pretty ground of St George's in Grenada, carved into the hills, and with the sea in close proximity looked a picture as numerous flags of St George from the travelling Barmy Army fluttered in the wind on St George's Day.

So the Windies batted and Brathwaite got a snorter from Jimmy. Bravo got a howler from umpire Steve Davis. Let's just say that the snooker Steve Davis would have made better judgement, as Bravo's bat most certainly didn't kiss the red. Marvellous Marlon Samuels got a ton as he and Stokes went at it. People from the North East of England don't generally tend to take too much crap, and throw in the fact that Stokes is a fiery redhead, he was hot, Marlon was playing and missing a lot and young Benjamin didn't get too much luck, it was no surprise to see the words flying about. At 247-9 the Windies were in trouble but divine intervention from the Archangel Shannon Gabriel, along with Bishoo saw them to 299 all out. Broad got four wickets despite averaging a mere eighty miles an hour, barely quick enough to break the speed limit.

Steve Davis...howler

If Broad was like a Mini Metro, Shannon Gabriel opened up like a Lamborghini. Slippery and quick enough for a driving ban, Captain Cook along with Trott batted well to ensure a century opening stand. Ballance came in, and batted nicely as he generally does before a gorgeous 182 not out from Joe Root saw England to a formidable total. He was however involved in three run outs, not all of them his fault but with a York(e) Root leaving Jordan stranded, it left us wondering that the last time it happened, was when Harvey Price was conceived. Jokes aside, this was yet another fantastic innings from the Sheffield lad and he is in the form of his life.

When Stokes was dismissed he was given a salute from Samuels, which although funny, was a cheap shot. When a man is out, he is out, he is beaten and it is the equivalent of decking someone and then putting the boot in when they are sparko on the floor. England ended up 163 runs ahead.

Bishoo, by the way bowled beautifully at times. Leg spin is a proper art form, and to watch him weave his way through 51 overs was a joy. The ball that deceived Trott was great to see, and he varies his flight, has a googly, a slider and genuinely rips his conventional leggie. He deserved better than his 4-177.

That Samuels salute...young Benjamin doesn't seem to see the amusement

The Windies batted for a second time and Brathwaite eked out a ton. Surely, this game was destined to be a draw. Rain and a sluggish track decreed that surely no result would be possible? Enter Jimmy...good players turn games at special moments and the Burnley Express certainly did with this one as the match roared into life. The Windies collapsed to 307 all out as they lost their last eight wickets for eighty odd runs. There were some weird dismissals, Holder for instance who was dropped before the ball rebounded to Anderson, who threw the stumps down for yet another run out. The Windies capitulated.

Despite the loss of Trott without troubling the scorers for the second time in this series, Cook and Ballance both chalked up their second fifties of the game as England romped home by nine wickets. England had finally won abroad for the first time in nearly three years.

Not a memorable one, but we'll take anything at the moment. On to Barbados we go.


  1. Pretty good summary. England won't change a winning team (unless they have to), but I can't see this team structure surviving the summer. Trott is a no 3 (which is already taken) not an opener. Stokes and Jordan are too samey, and the quick bowlers generally are all about the same pace. We have two part time spinners, who both bowl off breaks. It feels like a team designed not to lose test matches, rather than one designed to win them (you'd think the coach's job was on the line!). It'll work in West Indies, but the next 4 series look much tougher (NZ then Aus home, followed by SA and Pak away).