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Holder and Campbell
World Test Championship

Blackwood guides Windies to four-wicket victory

Eng v WI, 1st Test, day five, report

A strong start to the final day for England – thanks largely to Jofra Archer – was countered by 95 from Jermaine Blackwood, who guided West Indies to their chase of 200 to win in the fourth innings.

England began the day with two wickets left, looking to grow their 170-run lead. Archer freed his arms on several occasions on his way to 23, extending the lead to 199 by the time he was last man out to give Shannon Gabriel his ninth wicket of the match and a five-wicket haul in the innings – his sixth in Tests and a performance for which the fast bowler was named Player of the Match.

Needing 200 for victory, West Indies suffered a poor start. First John Campbell was forced to retire hurt after a yorker from Archer pinned him on the toe, before Kraigg Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks were dismissed in consecutive overs from the England quick.

The batsmen would have been relieved to see Archer taken off, but his replacement Mark Wood struck with his fourth ball, beating Shai Hope's defences to knock over off stump.

With West Indies 27/3, and uncertainty over whether Campbell would be able to bat again, England looked firm favourites, but Roston Chase and Jermaine Blackwood combined forces to carry their side out of danger. The pair batted with application against a bowling display which was markedly more disciplined than in the first innings, though they also benefitted from some fielding slip-ups as England put down two catches and missed a relatively straightforward run-out chance in quick succession.

Archer was once again the man for the job for England, as he found some steep bounce to force Chase into gloving a catch behind for 37 to leave the score 100/4. But Blackwood remained resolute, pairing up with Shane Dowrich for another fifty partnership – the seventh of the match.

Dowrich survived several close calls but battled on against some hostile bowling from Archer in particular to reach 20. He then appeared to have been dismissed by Stokes, edging a drive to slip, until replays showed it to be a no-ball. But next ball he once again edged it, this time to the keeper, and he had to depart with 32 runs still needed for victory.

Blackwood continued to bat with intelligence, moving steadily towards what would be his second Test century as the target came ever more sharply into focus. But with just 11 runs needed to win, and five runs for his century, he failed to keep his drive off Ben Stokes down and gave a catch to James Anderson at mid-off.

John Campbell returned to the crease, joining captain Jason Holder to finish off the chase and secure a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. The second Test begins at Old Trafford on Thursday 16 July.

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