West Indies vs. England: Winners and Losers from 2nd Test

April 27, 2015 in Sports

CricketFilePhoto-1England clinched their first Test win overseas since November 2012 with a nine-wicket triumph over West Indies in Grenada.

A draw looked the most likely outcome going into the final day of the contest at the National Cricket Stadium.

The hosts resumed on Saturday on 202 for two in their second innings, meaning they led their opponents by 37 runs.

However, their plans of batting out most of the day to leave the series at 0-0 were dashed when they lost their last six wickets for 83 runs.

Inspired by James Anderson in the morning session, England’s efforts with the ball left them needing 143 for victory.

Although they lost Jonathan Trott cheaply, Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance saw the tourists over the finishing line with an unbroken second-wicket stand worth 142.

As the dust settles, and with one game to go in the series, we pick out the winners and losers from the second Test

Winner: Alastair Cook – While he was not able to end his century drought, Alastair Cook enjoyed an excellent match in Grenada.

England’s captain finally got a Test win on his travels, as well as scoring half-centuries in each innings.

The left-hander looked set to reach three figures in the longest form of the game for the first time since May 2013 on Day 3, only to be bowled for 76.

Still, he also made an unbeaten 59 the second time around to help see his side to glory.

Cook’s captaincy has been criticised at times, but he showed a willingness to think outside the box on a flat pitch.

He also held a cracking catch to dismiss Shivnarine Chanderpaul on the final day, reacting quickly at first slip to snare a one-handed effort after Ian Bell had initially spilled the opportunity.

Losers: West Indies’ Seam Bowlers – The trio of Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Jason Holder combined to claim the sum total of three wickets between them in the Test.

It should be pointed out that Gabriel, called in to the XI to replace the injured Jerome Taylor, picked up all of them himself.

Roach finished with match figures of none for 118, while he also carelessly clipped Moeen Ali to James Anderson at mid-on when West Indies were desperately trying to hang on in their second innings.

Holder, meanwhile, saw his match come to an early end when he rolled his ankle in his second over on the final day.

The home side’s hero in the first Test, having hit his maiden century to defy England, Holder had to be stretchered off the field.

However, it is hoped that the bowler will still be fit to feature in the final match of the series, per Reuters (h/t Eurosport).

Loser: Shivnarine Chanderpaul – Shivnarine Chanderpaul has a Test average of 51.71, so West Indies should not panic just yet about their most experienced batsman.

However, the left-hander recorded scores of one and seven in his two innings in Grenada.

So far in the series, his top score is 46, with his average through four knocks being a rather disappointing 16.75.

He was held at backward point by Moeen Ali first time around. Then on the final day, he found himself a little unfortunate to be caught by Alastair Cook after Ian Bell had initially spilled the ball.

Chanderpaul now sits on 11,842 runs in his Test career, meaning he needs another 71 to move past Brian Lara at the top of his team’s all-time leading scorers list.

At the age of 40, he still has the hunger to succeed, but his form is a concern for the home fans in the Caribbean.

Winner: Joe Root – Joe Root was named man of the match after making an unbeaten 182 in England’s first innings.

The Yorkshireman has now amassed 324 runs in three knocks in the series, while he has scored at a strike rate of 73.46 runs per 100 balls.

Root may well have recorded a second Test double ton had it not been for Anderson’s lazy running between the wickets in Grenada.

The right-handed batsman averaged 97.12 last year in the longest format, including scoring three centuries.

It seems he has continued his fine form into 2015, which is an excellent sign for England ahead of a busy year.

They return home after the final match in Barbados for a home series against New Zealand, which is a prelude to Australia arriving for the Ashes.

After that, Root and the rest of the England squad head for a winter tour to South Africa.

Winner: James Anderson – James Anderson was the catalyst for England’s victory push on the fifth and final day of the Test.

The visitors picked up six wickets in a pivotal morning session on Saturday—and Anderson was involved in all of them.

England’s leading wicket-taker in Test cricket started the West Indies collapse when he had second-innings centurion Kraigg Brathwaite caught by Joe Root.

He then removed Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels in successive overs with the second new ball, helping him finish with innings figures of four for 43.

Not satisfied with his bowling efforts, Anderson also excelled in the field.

The Lancastrian held onto catches to dismiss Jermaine Blackwood and Kemar Roach, while also producing a direct hit at the non-striker’s end to run out Jason Holder.