ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada
West Indies crushed England by 10 wickets in the third and final cricket test on Sunday to win the series 1-0.
The hosts needed only 4.5 overs on Day 4 to reach the winning target in Grenada. West Indies finished on 28-0 in the second innings after earlier dismissing England for 120.
West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite was 20 not out and John Campbell undefeated on 6. England, shell-shocked by the extent of their shortcomings in the course of this series-deciding Test, had no prayer as their fleeting stint in the field began, although in throwing the new ball to Saqib Mahmood, they did at least acknowledge the one seamer to have truly enhanced his credentials in the course of a miserable campaign. But the closest he came to a breakthrough was a speculative review for lbw, as Brathwaite pinged him for consecutive fours in his second and final over.
England had resumed the final day with even a miracle feeling a far-fetched option for salvation. They led by 10 runs overnight with just two wickets standing, although in keeping with the trend of the match, there were few demons for Woakes and Jack Leach to confront against the softer, older ball, which was already 53 overs old when play got underway.
West Indies resumed with their third-day wrecker, Kyle Mayers, at one end, and the quicker options of Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph alter-nating at the other, but Leach and Woakes watched the ball carefully and played within themselves to add 13 runs in a sedate first 40 minutes.
But then, Mayers made way for West Indies’ at-tack leader, Kemar Roach, and all he required was a solitary delivery to break the deadlock. The ball itself was a rank leg-sided long-hop, but Woakes’ firm flick flew rapidly to Jason Holder’s right at leg gully, who clung onto a one-handed blinder with the ball almost behind his back.
Woakes was gone for 19, having added just one run since an earlier moment of alarm, when Joseph tucked him up from back of a length for a looping deflection to short leg. After a successful review, umpire Gregory Brathwaite had to reverse his deci-sion – the 19th overturned decision of the series.
At 116 for 9, Leach was joined by England’s last man – and first-innings top-scorer – Mahmood, with the team management hoping against hope that could at least replicate their first-innings stand of 90, without which West Indies would already be celebrating an innings victory.—AFP