“They came, they dominated, they won,” that was the script that England produced in the first Test against Windies. The hosts put in a complete performance at Edgbaston, Birmingham and completely outplayed the visitors. Windies were a no match for England and the inevitable happened as the first Test was wrapped up by an innings and 209 runs by the Joe Root-led side.
All about Alastair Cook
As it happens in most of the modern-day Tests, the side winning the toss already has a foot in the door. The same happened when Joe Root called the right side of the coin and opted to bat on a batting-friendly pitch. The first innings was all about one person – Alastair Cook.
Although the start wasn’t ideal for the Englishmen as the opener Mark Stoneman was removed for just 8 by Kemar Roach. Soon, the No.3 Tom Westley also departed for the same score when he was trapped in front by Miguel Cummins. Suddenly, England were in a spot of bother at 39/2.
But then got together the 2 best batsmen in the side. Alastair Cook and Joe Root just took over and washed away any hopes of a Windies domination in the game. There was sheer class at the crease, the drives, cuts and pulls found the boundary ropes on a regular basis. It was a treat to watch two majestic batsmen at work.
The duo brought up their fifties and then hundreds and put together a massive 248 runs for the 3rd wicket before Root was dismissed for 136 by Roach. Cook was in no mood to give up and went on to complete a magnificent double hundred. This time, it was Dawid Malan who supported the former captain and added 162 runs alongside him for the 4th wicket.
Malan got out for 65 and then Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali went back in quick succession but Cook wasn’t ready to leave the fort just yet. He finally made a mistake and got out LBW to Roston Chase for 243 off 407 balls that included 33 boundaries. At 514/8, Root decided to declare the innings on day 2.
A pacers’ delight
Windies had a mountain to climb against a quality pace bowling attack. To make the matters worse, James Anderson sent back the opener Kraigg Brathwaite for a duck. Kieran Powell and Kyle Hope showed some resistance and added 45 runs for the 2nd wicket but Anderson came back to remove Hope and then accounted for the run out of Powell.
From then on, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and literally surrendered to the English bowlers. Jermaine Blackwood played a quickfire knock of 79 off just 76 balls and remained unbeaten until the end.
But there was very little to offer at the other end from any of the batsmen and the side was bundled out for 168 in just 47 overs. Having a huge lead of 346, Root elected to enforce the follow-on. It was an obvious choice given the poor show of the Windies batsmen and the very little that his bowlers had bowled until then.
Windies’ misery continued
Following on, the story of the second innings wasn’t too different from the first one. James Anderson once again drew first blood by dismissing Kieran Powell. The floodgates once more opened up and the batsmen came in and came out without spending much time in the middle.
The opener Brathwaite was the leading run-getter in the innings with 40 off 76 balls. Windies were all out for 137 in 45.4 overs as the match ended on day 3. Where Anderson bagged 3 wickets in the 1st innings, it was Stuart Broad’s turn to grab the equal number of wickets in the 2nd innings.
England won the match by an innings and 209 runs took a lead of 1-0. It must be said that the result was pretty much expected it will be very surprising if the result is any different in the remaining 2 Tests. The next 2 matches of the series will now take place at Headingley and Lord’s.
England 1st innings: 514/8 in 135.5 overs
Alastair Cook 243, Joe Root 136
Roston Chase 113/4
Windies 1st innings: 168/10 in 47 overs
Jermaine Blackwood 79
James Anderson 34/3
Windies 2nd innings: 137/10 in 45.4 overs
Kraigg Brathwaite 40
Stuart Broad 34/3
England won by an innings and 209 runs
Player of the match: Alastair Cook