BARBADOS: A career-best 8/60 from the off-spinning all-rounder Roston Chase bowled Windies to victory on the fourth day of the first Test in Barbados.
Despite not extracting noticeable turn from the pitch, Chase ran through the England middle-order, dismissing Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Ben Foakes after lunch. Having set England an enormous 628 to win the game after skipper Jason Holder (who won the Player of the Match award) and Shane Dowrich’s respective double-hundred and hundred on day three, England resumed the day on 56/0.
With victory an unlikely prospect, there was a degree of freedom afforded to the England openers Keaton Jennings and Rory Burns. Burns in particular played confidently, looking to attack whenever the Windies bowlers strayed in line or length. Jennings was the more watchful of the pair but was the first to depart. He drove hard at a Alzarri Joseph ball, that to be fair to Jennings, was overpitched and there to be hit. He failed to properly execute the shot though, and was well caught by Holder in the slips for 14.
Jonny Bairstow came out and batted confidently at three. For a period, Burns and Bairstow made batting look easy on a pitch that saw no wickets fall on day three. However, in the last over before lunch, Burns misread a straight delivery from Roston Chase. Burns played for turn that wasn’t there and the ball snuck through the gap between bat and pad to rattle the stumps. He departed for 84 – and was denied a maiden Test hundred – to leave England 134/2 at lunch.
After the interval, Root was lucky to survive after being dismissed off a Shannon Gabriel no-ball. Bairstow was less fortunate though as he was caught down the leg-side off Gabriel for 30. England’s middle-order all played themselves in, but they also all failed to benefit from good starts.
Roston Chase, who before this Test had taken 42 wickets at an average of 47.61, then ran riot. Root and Moeen Ali were both guilty of steering the ball straight to the slip cordon, Ben Stokes was trapped lbw to a delivery that didn’t turn, while Jos Buttler and Ben Foakes were dismissed by superb catches. Buttler was caught by the diving John Campbell at mid-wicket who plucked a well hit flick into the on-side out of the air with aplomb. Shortly after, Shimron Hetmyer somehow held onto a full-blooded sweep shot at short-leg to send Foakes back to the pavilion.
Adil Rashid was caught well on the boundary off Kraigg Brathwaite before Roston Chase sealed the game and his eight wicket when Sam Curran was stumped by Shai Hope for 17. Underdogs going into the series, Windies completed a memorable victory to put them one-nil up. The second Test starts on Thursday.