Home Sports News Jermaine Blackwood’s 95 sets up victory for West Indies

Jermaine Blackwood’s 95 sets up victory for West Indies

West Indies win by four wickets

England lost a gripping first Test to West Indies, who were helped to a memorable four-wicket victory by Jermaine Blackwood’s magnificent 95.

Chasing 200 on the final day in Southampton, the tourists were reduced to 27-3 and lost opener John Campbell retired hurt, mainly to a fired-up Jofra Archer.

But the nerveless Blackwood calmly combined with Roston Chase for a stand of 63, then added 68 with Shane Dowrich.

England had chances to dismiss Blackwood. Ben Stokes failed to get a hand on a tough opportunity at slip off Dom Bess, gully Rory Burns and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler both dropped catches off the bowling of Stokes, while Zak Crawley could not gather the ball in the covers when Blackwood and Chase got in a mix-up running a single.

Stand-in captain Stokes threatened to inspire England yet again first by removing Dowrich, then Blackwood when only 11 were needed.

But a limping Campbell returned to join captain Jason Holder and scamper the winning run.

It means West Indies take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, while Stokes is condemned to defeat in his first match as skipper.

Joe Root will return to lead England when the second behind-closed-doors Test begins at Old Trafford on Thursday.

If the tourists avoid defeat there, they will retain the Wisden Trophy they earned with a series victory in the Caribbean 18 months ago.