Jermaine Blackwood: Originally part of the West Indian team after nearly three years, Blackwood played a match-winning innings in Southampton.
“But I don’t think we’re coming over there [England] to lose. We’re coming over to win. That’s our mentality coming to England,” West Indies batsman Jermaine Blackwood was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo more than a month ago as he made himself available for the challenge against a strong English bowling attack.
Having stepped out prematurely to literally gift his wicket in the first innings, 28-year old Blackwood seemed to have made it a point to stand by his words and steer his team past the victory line in the first Test of the ongoing West Indies’ tour of England in Southampton.
Coming in to bat in a 200-run chase in the 12th over, Blackwood witnessed England dismissing three West Indian batsman in quick succession after opener John Campbell had to retire hurt.
What followed was a determined Blackwood playing his most impact-generating innings at the highest level as he shared match-winning partnerships with all-rounder Roston Chase (37) and wicket-keeper batsman Shane Dowrich (20).
Jermaine Blackwood lead West Indies to 1-0
The fact that this victory came without second-innings contributions from the likes of Kraigg Brathwaite (4) and Shai Hope (9) is a primary reason why it will be remembered for years especially by the West Indian fans. Given the desire around West Indian batsmen needing to step up on this tour followed by Blackwood taking on the onus on himself is just what was required to take a 1-0 lead in England.
As much as Blackwood deserved to score his second Test century, his magnificent 11th half-century saw him score 95 (154) with the help of 12 fours. With bowling figures of 17-3-45-3, England’s Jofra Archer did cause harm with the new ball but couldn’t change the result of the game.
West Indies captain Jason Holder (14 not out), who had registered career-best bowling figures in the first innings, was present in the middle when Campbell (8 not out) ran a single off Stokes to win the match by 4 wickets.
How Twitterati reacted:
Wow @windiescricket what a win. Top display of test cricket.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) July 12, 2020
— Daren Sammy (@darensammy88) July 12, 2020
This win should be no surprise. This is a seriously committed West Indian Test team, with proper Test match skills.
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) July 12, 2020
Good all-round performances by players from both teams.
Jermaine Blackwood played a crucial knock in a tense situation to see @windiescricket through. An important win which has set up the series perfectly. #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/PLbJlqIe8c
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 12, 2020
First game after the break belongs to us!
Some gritty performance from the lads. This team deserves the win in this game. Congratulations boys
— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) July 12, 2020
Congratulations #WestIndies for winning the first test . We got to see some good cricket, led by world class players from both the teams. Really settled the appetite as we missed the game over the past few months. #ENGvWI
— Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) July 12, 2020
Engrossing Test match. Great to be back.
Jermaine Blackwood – superb, disciplined innings under pressure. Came in at 27-3. Saw WI to within 11 of victory.
England’s 4th defeat by WI in last six Tests.
— Simon Mann (@Cricket_Mann) July 12, 2020
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) July 12, 2020
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) July 12, 2020
Test Cricket matters, winning overseas matters, @windiescricket doing well in Test cricket matters. Great to see Test Match cricket back and great to see West Indies win. A phenomenal effort from the whole WI team. Congratulations #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/yKUILMdOEr
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 12, 2020
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) July 12, 2020
My cricketing loyalties are transparent. If india aren’t in the game, I’d back any team beating Eng. It is the sweetest when it is a revived West Indies. #ENGvWI
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) July 12, 2020
Kudos to the selection of 11 by @windiescricket. Most people expected them to play Cornwall and leave out either Chase or Blackwood. They picked an extra batsmen and backed their quicks. Both played vital roles. Selecting the right 11 is a very under rated art.#ENGvWI
— Gaurav Sundararaman (@gaurav_sundar) July 12, 2020
Let’s not forget they were 35/3 . Proper steel and mental toughness as a team that 👏🏼 #ENGvWI
— Robin John Peterson (@robbie13flair) July 12, 2020
Brilliant result for an understated, determined West Indies side. Excellent test match. This has been good for our game.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 12, 2020
Stokes the player has been amazing this Test. Stokes the captain has left a lot more wanting.
WI go 1-0 up. Some World Test Championship points too. #ENGvWI
— Sreshth Shah (@sreshthx) July 12, 2020
Rally Round The West Indies!!!
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) July 12, 2020
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 12, 2020
Great week of Test Cricket … For the West Indies to have come over to play is remarkable in these times … For them to have played so well & won is incredible … I don’t even think England fans will be too disppaointed … bloody love Test cricket 👍
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) July 12, 2020
Soooo close. Super knock … Blackwood … Too good👏👏👏#ENGvWI
— Gaurav Kapur (@gauravkapur) July 12, 2020
Validation for the new Windies approach , discipline n doggedness over flair . Shout out to both the sides and everyone involved for getting us live cricket again #ENGvsWI
— Deep Dasgupta (@DeepDasgupta7) July 12, 2020
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) July 12, 2020
Many congratulations @windiescricket on a brilliant win. Great display of skills and maturity and extremely well led by Jason Holder. Top knock from Blackwood in the fourth innings and West Indies showing how it is done #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/Y09bLzwaYk
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) July 12, 2020
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) July 12, 2020
— Gautam Bhimani (@gbhimani) July 12, 2020
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