Jermaine Blackwood made the most of pricey mistakes in the field as he moved the West Indies within sight of a day-five victory over England in the first #raisethebat Test.
☕️ time! 108 runs in the session after lunch for the loss of 1 wicket. Blackwood and Dowrich will continue the chase of the remaining 57 runs with 6 wickets in hand#WIReady #ENGvWI #MenInMaroon pic.twitter.com/IcdGoe2zqv
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) July 12, 2020
The tourists were 143 for 4 at tea chasing 200 at the Ageas Bowl, with some invigorating fast bowling from Jofra Archer looking like it would not suffice for the hosts.
Blackwood was 65 not out heading into the final session, however was dropped on 5 by England captain Ben Stokes and again on 20 by his deputy Jos Buttler.
England had been favourites at lunch with the tourists 35 for 3, Archer blowing away Kraigg Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks as well as forcing John Campbell to retire hurt. A stand of 73 between Blackwood and Roston Chase (37) reversed the picture to seemingly tee up a fine win.
The day started with England adding 29 for their last 2 wickets, both of which fell to Shannon Gabriel to finish his five-for.
Archer had batted with bravado for 23 however his primary job is to create chaos with the ball and he duly did so.
His first delivery yielded a partial but essential success, thumping Campbell’s front foot with fast yorker and ultimately forcing him from the field in search of ice treatment. A more tangible advancement followed, Brathwaite deflecting a full inswinger into his stumps.
Brathwaite had been described by head coach Phil Simmons as “the glue” of the tourists’ batting line-up however here he had come unstuck for just 4.
Brooks proved even simpler victim for the 25-year-old, caught on the crease and deceived through the air for a 5-ball duck. Archer was tearing into his celebrations before the lbw was even confirmed.
At 12 for 2 and with Campbell in pain in the dressing room, things were securely in England’s favor.
Wood picked up the baton after 5 heady overs and promptly increased the pressure, flattening Shai Hope’s off stump with his 4th ball through a flick off the pad.
Chase and Blackwood made it to lunch however at that stage 165 runs seemed a mountainous task. Yet when play returned the tone moved, with swing all of a sudden a thing of the past and England beginning to fray in the field.
Dom Bess should have had Blackwood for 5 but in anticipating the intended cut shot instead of the thick edge which arrived, Stokes left himself in the wrong position at slip. He flung out a hand to try and rescue the situation however got fingertip contact.
The first 10 overs of the afternoon brought 33 runs, all however doubling the score, and when Blackwood gloved Stokes down leg he had a second slice of luck as Buttler grassed the chance one-handed. A leg-bye was signaled but Stokes’ response suggested a review would have followed.
The 50 stand ticked by in 93 balls and England’s error count continued Zak Crawley fumbling a possible run-out chance and Rory Burns failing to put a hand on Blackwood’s next slash through the gully.
Even worse still Stokes had overstepped and the ball zipped away to take 4 more off the target. Chase saw his side to exactly halfway when Archer conjured an unplayable ball bouncer to end 24 overs of frustration.
It climbed at high speed, followed the batsman and flicked glove and helmet before looping through to Buttler.
3 boundaries then followed in 5 balls, Dowrich taking care of a full toss before Blackwood edged James Anderson to 3rd man and flicked through midwicket.