HomeCricketOld Trafford defeat bares familiar woes of West Indies...

Old Trafford defeat bares familiar woes of West Indies cricket

- Advertisement -

Having opened the Test series with a rare win at the picturesque Ageas Bowl in Southampton, West Indies had a golden chance to take the momentum forward and seal the three-match series at Old Trafford.

Their bowlers were on the money and batters determined as the Caribbeans romped to a comfortable victory against the Englishmen.

- Advertisement -

However, all their good work came undone at Old Trafford as the West Indies literally surrendered the advantage to England.

The Caribbean opening bowlers, especially Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph, who steamed in at the Ageas Bowl and went through English defences with their raw pace, looked surprisingly short of a gallop at Old Trafford.

Despite having the Englishmen struggle at 29/2 and 81/3, the Islanders let the momentum slip as opener Dominic Sibley and the sensational Ben Stokes put together a 296-run partnership to steer the Three Lions out of harm’s way and put them on course to a big total.

While Sibley displayed exemplary patience and reached his second Test century off 372 balls, Stokes brought up yet another ton, an innings of 176 laced with delectable and lusty strokes, to effectively put the game beyond West Indies.

West Indies failed to capitalise

The very West Indies, who roared at Ageas Bowl, looked out of sorts at Old Trafford. (Credits: Twitter/ West Indies Cricket)
Not upto the Mark: The very West Indies, who roared at Ageas Bowl, looked out of sorts at Old Trafford. (Credits: Twitter/ West Indies Cricket)

When it came to their turn with the willow, the Caribbeans cut a sorry picture as none of their batters failed to post a big score. While opener Kraig Braithwaite and his middle order mates Shamarh Brooks and Roston Chase scored half-centuries, none failed to kick on to a substantial score.

The West Indies batting card narrated a familiar story of missed chances and inconsistency, as the Islanders were all out for a disappointing 287, far short of England’s 469.

With no play on the third day due to persistent rain and wet outfield, England knew they had to drive the game forward to get a result in their favour. With a lead of 182, the English batters came out with a positive intent.

And, in a clear message to the rival camp that they were desperate to force a result in their favour, England sent out Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, their two most expressive and explosive batters, to open their second dig. The message was clearly to get on with it.

While England lost Buttler, Crawley and Root in trying to force the pace, Stokes, in the company of Ollie Pope, showed yet again why he is England’s go-to man in crunch situations across formats.

Jermaine Blackwood once again scored a half century but failed to make it big. (Credits: Twitter/ West Indies Cricket)
Not Making it Big: Jermaine Blackwood once again scored a half century but failed to make it big. (Credits: Twitter/ West Indies Cricket)

His stunning 78 off 57 balls helped England declare at 129/3, setting a target of 312 for the Islanders. However, the Islanders put up an even more woeful batting show as they were skittled out for 198. While Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes took the bowling honours, Stokes was in amongst the wickets as well. His 254 runs and 3 wickets in the match deservedly got him the Player of the Series award.

Lack of focus and drive

The defeat has yet again brought to the fore the mercurial side of West Indies cricket.

While the team that took to the turf at the Ageas Bowl looked a determined unit with both the batting and bowling coming good, the one that showed up at Old Trafford sorely lacked in focus and drive. It’s this inconsistency that has come to haunt and hurt Caribbean cricket time and time again.

When the situation called for grit and patience on a wearing fifth-day track, the West Indies got out playing needless shots instead of trying to hold fort. When the need of the hour was to put a price tag on their wickets and bat out the day, the Islanders were found wanting. 

Often a draw is as good as a win and this is one lesson that Jason Holder and his boys need to take home after the Old Trafford defeat.

While coach Phil Simmons has put the Caribbean batsmen on notice after the second Test defeat, the question is can they find their best form in time for the series decider? Over to Old Trafford again.

Follow us on Facebook for more sports news & updates

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -