A rampaging Roston Chase tore through England’s batting line-up to hand West Indies a comprehensive 381-run victory inside four days in the first Test in Barbados, putting them 1-0 in the three-match series.
Chase finished with career-best Test figures of 8 for 60 off 21.4 overs to almost single-handedly bowl England out for 246 in their second innings but, in truth there were many more architects of the West Indies’ victory.
Kemar Roach’s devastating haul of 5 for 17 in England’s first innings, when the tourists were bowled out for just 77; West Indies captain Jason Holder’s unbeaten second-innings 202 and team-mate Shane Dowrich’s 116 not out, which put the target out of reach; and some dire shot selection by England batsmen in their second innings combined with Chase’s impressive haul to deliver a memorable victory for the home side.
While on the subject of selection, questions are sure to be asked at the management team meeting ahead of the second Test, starting in Antigua on Thursday. The obvious one: was leaving Stuart Broad out on a pitch where the pacemen initially ran riot such a good idea? And, how will England respond to an underwhelming batting performance throughout this Test?
Regardless of England’s woes, the day belonged to Chase and West Indies, who will long remember this triumph.
The tourists were always going to face a huge battle over two days to hold out for a draw when they resumed on 56 without loss, but opener Rory Burns provided a period of positivity with a controlled 84 off 133 deliveries before he was bowled by Chase with a ball that slid inside his defensive push to hit off stump.
The same could not be said of fellow opener Keaton Jennings, who managed just 14 runs off 84 balls. He was one of several England batsmen to fall to an ill-conceived shot when he was tempted by Alzarri Joseph to slash at a ball that was well outside off stump only to find a thick outside edge flying to Holder, who pulled down the overhead catch at second slip.
England skipper Joe Root did not look comfortable early on and he won a huge reprieve when, on just 1, he gloved a Shannon Gabriel delivery to slip but the bowler was called for a no-ball after overstepping the crease by a considerable distance. Gabriel made amends when he had Jonny Bairstow caught behind by Shai Hope, the stand-in keeper, for 30, which brought Ben Stokes to the crease.
Stokes also struggled to settle but, when Chase pinned Root back with a delivery that drifted in and the England captain promptly spooned the simplest of catches to Darren Bravo at slip, he took the cue to step up. Stokes drove Chase over long-on to the boundary and, three balls later, smacked him for six over long-off.
Stokes and Jos Buttler looked like they might steady the ship for a while but notions of their rearguard partnership of 169 against India in the third Test at Trent Bridge last summer evaporated when Chase trapped Stokes lbw for 34.
Moeen Ali’s dismissal was similar to Root’s – a simple catch to Holder at second slip off Chase to send the batsman off for a pair. From there, what was left of England simply crumbled under the relentless pressure of West Indies.
A case in point was debutant John Campbell’s spectacular diving catch at short midwicket – off none other than Chase – to dismiss Buttler. Campbell launched himself to his left and was completely airbourne as he flew, snaring a one-hander that brought up Chase’s five-for in the finest fashion.
Shimron Hetmyer took a similarly eye-catching grab at short leg but for different reasons, copping a Ben Foakes sweep off Chase in the midriff but managing to rescue the ball in his hands to claim another cheap England wicket.
Summing up England’s pain, Adil Rashid managed to pick out Kraigg Brathwaite, standing just inside the boundary rope (actually on the line where it had previously sat) and juggling the ball as he stepped out and back in to claim another West-Indies-can-do-no-wrong-like dismissal.
To truly seal Chase’s moment, and career-best figures, Hope – standing in for regular wicketkeeper Dowrich, who did not take to the field all day because of back soreness – completed a neat stumping of Sam Curran to complete an emphatic victory for West Indies
Summarized scores: West Indies 289 (Hetmyer 81*, Anderson 5-46) and 415 for 6 dec (Holder 202*, Dowrich 116*) beat England 77 (Roach 5-17) and 246 (Burns 84, Chase 8-60) by 381 runs