A patient 108-run fifth-wicket stand between Darren Bravo and Jermaine Blackwood led West Indies to a series-levelling victory in the third and final Test against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.
Requiring a victory target of 192 to draw the three-match rubber, the hosts lost a brace of wickets in quick succession on two occasions to slip to 80 for four shortly after tea.
Chris Jordan played his part in sending Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite packing, the openers having shared a 35-run partnership, before Stuart Broad and James Anderson bowled Marlon Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the latter via an inside edge, respectively either side of tea to boost the tourists’ hopes.
But they were quickly distinguished courtesy of Bravo and Blackwood, who after seeing his partner depart for 82 with four still required, hit the winning runs to move three short of a second consecutive half-century and see the Windies home with five wickets and two days to spare.
The triumph also maintains the hosts’ record of never losing when chasing fewer than 200 runs to win a Test.
Against disciplined bowling, Bravo was happy to accumulate before upping the tempo late on, resulting in his dismissal, while Blackwood reined in his attacking instincts after charging down the pitch and surviving a stumping opportunity on four.
Although the concentration and battling spirits of Bravo and Blackwood should not be underestimated, England proved architects of their own downfall this morning when they were skittled for a second-innings 123.
Beginning the day 107 ahead on 39 for five, they managed to add just 84 to their total in which they suffered a collapse that saw three wickets fall for three runs.
Gary Ballance was first to depart when he prodded forward at Veerasammy Permaul’s second delivery and provided Bravo with a simple take at slip.
An innings-high partnership of 33 between Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, given a reprieve when he successfully used a review to overturn a caught-behind decision, followed until the former squirted the left-arm spinner to cover for 32.
Jason Holder then provided further damage by trapping Jordan lbw and breaching the defences of Broad will a stunning yorker the next delivery.
That prompted Buttler, who earlier used his feet to hit Permaul down the ground for six, to switch into one-day mode and he powerfully struck a quartet of fours and another maximum.
However, he was left stranded on 35 when the Windies used a review to overturn an unsuccessful Jerome Taylor leg-before appeal against Anderson.
Having survived an Anderson over before lunch, Hope and Brathwaite frustrated the tourists with a battling stay at the crease before Jordan sent them packing.
The 26-year-old sparked England into life by pinning Hope, dropped in the cordon by Joe Root on four, lbw before again showing his reflexes at slip to hand Moeen Ali, in his second set of six, the scalp of Brathwaite for 25.
The third-wicket pair of Bravo and Samuels matched their openers’ alliance but after the Windies failed to score a run for 21 balls, the pressure told when Broad snaked one through the defences of Samuels before tea.
After Bravo smashed Root for six from the first ball of the evening session, his side’s first runs for 38 deliveries, Chanderpaul dragged on an Anderson loosener.
England passed up the chance of snaring Blackwood early, for the second time in the match, when Buttler failed to complete a stumping after the batsman had erratically charged Root.
And that was the last opportunity they got as Bravo and Blackwood shared the highest stand of the match, the former moving to a 116-ball half-century, as well as taking the stand to 50, with a driven four off Broad.
As the victory target neared, Bravo picked up the pace and crashed Moeen back over his head for a pair of sixes, the second of which heralded the century stand.
Bravo’s dismissal, punching a Stokes full-toss to mid-off, at the death came as a surprise but the game had already gone.
West Indies 2nd win in last 29 Tests v England since Birmingham 2000 (Lost 18, Drawn 9).
— Andrew Samson (@AWSStats) May 3, 2015
Man-of-the-match Jermaine Blackwood said: “I always try to play my natural game, adapt to the situation. The way I get out sometimes is playing my natural game, so I’m not really worried.
“I saw (Darren) Bravo, he said stay positive and we’ll get there, we did that, so well played to him as well. Each Test series I’m learning so it’s good for me.”
Man-of-the-series James Anderson said: “We definitely played some good cricket and to get a first-innings lead, we thought we were in a good position. There were periods when we thought we were in with a chance but Bravo and Blackwood played very well.
“We’ve played well, I feel like I’ve bowled well and contributed, so very disappointed we didn’t get over the line.”
West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin said: “Batters didn’t quite do as we wanted in the first innings but young Bravo and Blackwood came out for us today.
“We needed to get wickets in the second innings and those five wickets (on day two) put us in a commanding position. We played some good cricket, the bowling line-up was a good one, we let it slip in Grenada but I’m really glad we beat them today.”
England skipper Alastair Cook said: “We came here after Grenada with the opportunity to do it (win the series), played a lot of good cricket in the first day and a half.
“It’s a bit of both, 250 wasn’t enough, probably 300 was par, and then obviously 120 was disappointing. We have to take it on the chin, credit to West Indies, they bowled well and put us under pressure.
“When you’re defending 190 you need to take your chances, even 80 for four we had them under pressure. The bottom line is we haven’t done enough to win the series.
“Every series we play we try to win, we’ll take it on the chin. The support we’ve had in Antigua, Grenada and Barbados has been fantastic. I can’t fault the lads but the last 20 overs we weren’t good enough. The squad will talk about things but we need to go and deliver.”
10.35pm – WEST INDIES WIN BY FIVE WICKETS TO DRAW THE SERIES! WI 194/5; Blackwood 47, Ramdin 0 – With Cook moving the field up, Blackwood smears Moeen over mid-on for four to complete an impressive victory.
10.30pm – WICKET! Bravo c Broad b Stokes 82; WI 188/5 – Bravo cannot see it through as he slaps a Stokes full-toss to Broad at mid-off. A great knock. A match-winning innings.
186-4 now… 6 to win…
— Test Match Special (@bbctms) May 3, 2015
10.25pm – CENTURY PARTNERSHIP – Another huge hit from Bravo lands in the stands over long-on. A single into the leg side from Blackwood takes the fifth-wicket stand into three figures in the next over.
10.22pm – West Indies can ask for the extra half hour in 10 minutes time. They may not need it, though, with Blackwood moving to the pitch of a full Moeen ball and driving immaculately through the covers. Only 19 runs are needed now.
10.14pm – Bravo wants to get this over with quickly. He effortlessly launches Moeen back over his head for his second maximum. Anderson’s previous over went for 12.
10.06pm – England, waiting for a mistake from Bravo or Blackwood, keep delivering a tight line and length. It is a waiting game. One rush of blood and the tourists can get back in the game. Bravo punches Anderson past a diving Root at cover.
— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) May 3, 2015
9.50pm – Bravo flashes Anderson through the position where a second slip would be stationed and picks up four. England cannot afford more than one slip when they have only 50 runs to defend.
9.35pm – FIFTY! Bravo (116xb 5×4 1×6) – Blackwood pushes outside off stump and collects three on two occasions, off Stokes and then Broad in the space of three balls. Bravo then drives Broad behind square for four to move to a half-century, his 11th in Tests, and take his stand with Blackwood past 50.
9.20pm – Stokes gets one to leave Blackwood and beat his outside edge. The batsman has calmed down since his earlier let off. You still get the impression he fancies a big shot, though. Only time will tell. West Indies need 75 runs while England require six wickets.
Bit of a nail-biter, this. #WIvEng
— Yorkshire Tea (@YorkshireTea) May 3, 2015
9.10pm – Ben Stokes finally gets thrown the ball in an attempt to break this stand of 30 between Blackwood and Bravo. His first ball is crashed through the covers for four by Bravo.
9pm – Much like in the first innings, Moeen is guilty of dropping short and Blackwood launches him over the deep midwicket rope. Six! England desperately need a wicket.
8.56pm – Chris Jordan strays down leg and Blackwood flicks the seamer to the vacant fine-leg rope to move the Windies’ score into three figures. The first boundary since the opening over after tea. Ninety more needed for the home side.
8.42pm – Despite Blackwood’s moment of madness off Root, West Indies are happy to dig in and remain patient against disciplined bowling from England. That is evident from Blackwood and Bravo’s fifth-wicket stand which reads 12 runs off 11 overs. There is still plenty of time for the hosts to knock off the 100 runs required for victory, though.
8.25pm – CHANCE! – Jermaine Blackwood charges down the track and misses a wild hack off Root but Jos Buttler cannot hold on to complete the stumping. A let off for the right-hander.
8.06pm – WICKET! Chanderpaul b Anderson 0; WI 80/4 – Shivnarine Chanderpaul drags James Anderson’s first delivery of the afternoon session, a loosener outside off, onto his own stumps.
8.02pm – Darren Bravo smashes the first ball after the resumption, bowled by Joe Root, for six over long-off. Wow! The Windies’ first runs for 38 balls. The left-hander then crashes the Yorkshireman through the covers for four. A lively start.
7.38pm – TEA! WI 70/3; Bravo 15, Chanderpaul 0 – Tea arrives following six maidens in a row. England are hanging in there and building pressure. Another enthralling session awaits. West Indies need 122 runs while England require seven wickets.
7.31pm – WICKET! Samuels b Broad 20; WI 70/3 – Broad nips one back and gets through the defences of Samuels. A huge wicket that arrived after building pressure with 21 dot-balls.
7.20pm – Broad leaks eight from his sixth over, Samuels collecting fours through midwicket and backward point. Root is thrown the ball at the expense of Moeen. Samuels and Bravo have equalled their openers’ stand of 35.
7.11pm – Runs are starting to arrive more freely now for the Windies. Bravo turns a wayward Jordan ball around the corner for four in the over before pulling Moeen to the rope. The Windies are 62 for two, requiring another 130 to win.
6.55pm – Marlon Samuels, receiving plenty of chat from the England close fielders, drives Jordan off the back foot for three before pouncing on a short Moeen ball and picking up a boundary. The spinner then beats the outside edge of Darren Bravo’s blade. This is excellent Test cricket. It’s tense out there.
6.38pm – WICKET! Brathwaite c Jordan b Moeen 25; WI 35/2 – You cannot keep Jordan out of the game! Brathwaite edges Moeen to slip and the 26-year-old pulls off another brilliant one-handed catch. His reflexes are unreal.
6.33pm – WICKET! Hope lbw Jordan 9; WI 35/1 – Jordan spears a full delivery into Hope’s pads and umpire Billy Bowden raises the finger. Hope reviews but the ball was clearly hitting leg stump. England needed that. Is a door opening? Moeen Ali is on at the other end.
6.20pm – REVIEW! – England are struggling for a breakthrough here as openers Brathwaite and Hope battle hard, the former on-driving Broad for four to take the Windies to 28. Jordan then seams one away from Hope, squaring him up, and hits him on the pad. England opt to use their last review but again they are frustrated as the ball didn’t hit the batsman in line with the stumps and the umpire’s original not-out decision stands.
6.14pm – REVIEW! England, and Jonathan Trott in particular, are confident that Brathwaite has tickled a leg-side delivery from Jordan, replacing Anderson, behind so Alastair Cook calls for a review. However, it’s turned down when replays show the ball hit the right-hander’s thigh pad on its way through to Jos Buttler.
6.10pm – Brathwaite whips Anderson from outside off stump just short of Broad at mid-on and then edges past third slip for four. It did not carry.
6.02pm – CHANCE! – Hope, on four, slashes hard outside off stump and edges to Joe Root in the cordon but the Yorkshireman fails to hold on. A chance goes begging off Broad.
6pm – Shai Hope takes 15 balls to get off the mark but does it in emphatic fashion, crunching James Anderson through the covers for four.
5.45pm – England are attacking immediately after the break, with Stuart Broad bowling to four slips and a short-leg. The paceman nips one back and almost traps Kraigg Brathwaite lbw, although the ball was going over the top.
The West Indies have never lost when chasing fewer than 200 runs to win a Test. #firsttimeforeverything
— Benedict Bermange (@Benedict_B) May 3, 2015
5.05pm – LUNCH! WI 4/0; Brathwaite 4, Hope 0 – West Indies survive an Anderson over before the lunch interval. Kraigg Brathwaite’s on-drive second ball races to the boundary and gets their chase up and running.
4.47pm – WICKET! Anderson lbw Taylor 2; Eng 123 all out, Buttler 35 – Taylor, replacing Holder, zones one in to James Anderson’s pads but umpire Billy Bowden is unmoved. However, the Windies call for a review immediately and the decision is overturned. The hosts dismiss England for 123 and need 192 to win the Test and draw the three-match series.
4.45pm – Buttler, batting in one-day mode, crunches Gabriel to the extra-cover fence before launching the paceman over long-off for his second maximum. Ten vital runs take England’s lead to 191.
4.40pm – Buttler steps back and crashes Holder through the covers for four. Ramdin throws the ball to Shannon Gabriel now in what looks a smart move with one wicket needed. He has yet to bowl today.
4.32pm – Buttler takes England’s second-innings total into three figures by reverse-sweeping Permaul to the boundary. The Lancashire wicketkeeper-batsman then drives the spinner down the ground for another four. Vital runs for his side.
4.27pm – WICKET! Broad b Holder 0; Eng 98/9 – Holder gets another and is on a hat-trick! The seamer produces a stunning yorker to bowl Stuart Broad.
4.23pm – WICKET! Jordan lbw Holder 2; Eng 98/8 – Jordan, trying to flick into the on side, is hit on the pad in front by Jason Holder. A review fails to save the right-hander as the ball was just clipping leg stump. The lead is 166.
4.10pm – WICKET! Stokes c Chanderpaul b Permaul 32; Eng 95/7 – Just when Stokes was looking comfortable, he squirts Permaul to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at cover. Things are getting tense now.
4.05pm – Stokes continues to innovate against spin, producing the same shot that brought him four in the previous over.
3.50pm – Stokes reverse-sweeps Permaul out of the rough and then drives the spinner through cover for three. Buttler tickles a leg-side delivery for three more to take England’s lead beyond 150.
3.43pm – Buttler strides down the pitch and lofts Permaul for six. Intent from the right-hander. Some news filtering through from the England dressing room. Jonathan Trott has damaged a right quad muscle and may be unable to field.
3.38pm – REVIEW! – Jos Buttler is given out caught behind off Taylor. However, he calls for a review and is saved after replays show the ball brushed his leg rather than the bat on the way through to Ramdin.
3.28pm – WICKET! Ballance c Bravo b Permaul 23; Eng 62/6 – Ballance prods forward at Veerasammy Permaul’s second delivery and provides Darren Bravo with a simple take at slip.
— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) May 3, 2015
3.21pm – Samuels beats Ballance’s attempted sweep and Denesh Ramdin takes off the bails. The umpire sends it upstairs but Ballance dragged his foot back into the crease just in time. Taylor over-pitches twice in the next over and Stokes flicks to the midwicket fence before driving down the ground, the latter from a full-toss.
3.10pm – Jerome Taylor, operating round the wicket, beats Gary Ballance’s defensive prod. The left-hander responds next ball, though, driving behind point for four.
3.06pm – Ben Stokes searches for one outside off stump and almost drags on. Nevertheless, it brings the first run of the day for the tourists. Marlon Samuels will deliver the second over, with his old foe Stokes facing.
2.55pm – The first session here is vital to the outcome of the match. England need to stick it out and slowly build their lead while the Windies’ bowlers look to carry on where they left off last night. We are five minutes away from the action starting.
2.50pm – James Anderson, who took 6-42 yesterday, has full faith in England building a sizeable victory target.
2.40pm – England have work to do in the first session to extend their lead of 107 after West Indies fought back strongly last night to reduce them to 39 for five on a crazy day when 18 wickets fell.
2.30pm – Hello and welcome to live coverage of day three of the third and final Test between West Indies and England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. If today is anything like yesterday, then we are all set for a cracker!
— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) May 3, 2015
— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) May 3, 2015
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