Blackwood shines as West Indies close on test victory

England's Rory Burns left bats during the fourth day of the first cricket Test match against West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton England Saturday

West Indies' Shane Dowrich celebrates his half century, as play resumes behind closed doors gainst England at the Rose Bowl Cricket Stadium, Southampton following the outbreak of the COVID-19, July 10, 2020.

Hope - whose only two Test hundreds both came during a dramatic win over England at Headingley three years ago - drove James Anderson for two fours in three balls.

Windies skipper Jason Holder has previously overseen memorable wins over England at Headingley, Barbados and Antigua, but was particularly thrilled with this one given the unique circumstances.

"Credit must be given to everyone yesterday, I think yesterday was a hard-fought day of Test cricket, and we really reaped the rewards at the very end".

Jermaine Blackwood missed out on a deserved hundred but did just enough to inspire West Indies to a four-wicket victory over England in the opening Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, today. "It's been a good start back to worldwide cricket, it sets the series up quite nicely". "We lost but I'm not going to look back with any regrets", he said.

West Indies were in deep trouble on 27-3 with John Campbell having retired hurt due to a toe injury, but Blackwood and Roston Chase (37) put on 73 for the fourth wicket.

In response, England openers Dom Sibley and Rory Burns saw off fiery spells from West Indies pacers Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach to guide the hosts to 15-0 in their second innings at stumps.

Jermaine Blackwood, who returned to the WI Test squad after an impressive Regional Four-Day Championships, led the way with 95 as the West Indies, set a victory target of 200 on the final day, reached 200 for the loss of six wickets. "We didn't manage to grasp the game as we would have liked".

Gabriel finished with figures of 5-75 - his sixth five-wicket haul in tests - while Chase and Alzarri Joseph picked up two wickets apiece.

Root, who was on paternity leave, is expected to lead the side in the second Test beginning July 16 at the Old Trafford.

The second and third Tests will be held in Manchester, also without fans in attendance.



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