Match Report of West Indies vs England, 2nd Test at St George’s, Grenada (Apr 21-25, 2015)
England pulled off a remarkable victory on the final day of the 2nd Test at Grenada against hosts West Indies. The match seemed to be heading towards a draw going into the final day but for James Anderson’s magical spell with the second new ball which spelled doom for the West Indians. England needed only 143 runs to win with plenty of overs left in the day’s play and with weather holding good, Alastair Cook’s team eased to victory by 9 wickets. The first Test which was played at North Sound in Antigua had ended in an unexpected draw as West Indies gave stiff resistance on the final day with Jason Holder scoring a century. However, the same resistance on the final day at St George’s in Grenada was ripped apart by James Anderson.
This second Test at Grenada was threatened by bad weather. The first day’s play saw 70 overs of play in which Marlon Samuels rescued the West Indies to 188 for 5 with his 94 not out. This was after Alastair Cook had won the toss and chose to bowl first. On the second day, the West Indies squandered their opportunity to get bowled out for 299. Marlon Samuels barely completed his 7th Test century before falling to Jimmy Anderson for 103. The last wicket pair for the West Indies – Devendra Bishoo (30) and Shannon Gabriel (20) did exceedingly well to add 52 runs. Stuart Broad was the most successful bowler for England taking 4 for 61 in 24 overs while James Anderson and Chris Jordan took two each.
Day 2 was also severely affected by rain and quite a few overs were lost as a result. England finished at 74 for no loss in 26 overs with Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott finally getting starts. On Day 3, England consolidated its position in the Test match by finishing at 373 for 3 as the rain stayed away to allow 98 overs of play. Overnight openers – Alastair Cook (76 from 211 balls) and Jonathan Trott (59 from 147 balls) got half centuries but consumed plenty of time. Gary Ballance too was slow scoring 77 from 188 balls while Joe Root provided the much needed life to the innings with a well paced 118 not out.
On the penultimate day, Joe Root went on to finish with an unbeaten 182 from 229 balls with 17 fours and four sixes. Root was unlucky to miss out on a well deserved double century but the 24-year-old would settle for what was his sixth Test century. England were bowled out for 464 with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo toiling hard to take 4 for 177 in 51 overs. West Indies were behind by 165 runs and had to negotiate six overs before lunch. Jimmy Anderson cleaned up Devon Smith in that little session to have West Indies on the backfoot.
By the end of Day four, West Indies clawed their way back to 202 losing just another wicket in the form of Darren Bravo for 69. However, the lead that West Indies had got to was just 37 and there was still a lot of batting to do on the final day. They were strongly placed though with 22-year-old opener Kraigg Brathwaite scoring a 4th Test century and first innings centurion Marlon Samuels remaining unbeaten along with him. On the final day, Kraigg Brathwaite fell early to the second new ball for 116. James Anderson who knocked him over took successive wickets of Shivnarine Chanderpaul (7) and Marlon Samuels (37).
West Indies from an overnight total of 202 for 2 collapsed to 307 all out! Anderson finished with 4 for 43 in 22 overs and Moeen Ali with his off-spin took three wickets towards the fag end. England finished the game with Alastair Cook helping himself to 59 not out from 121 balls and Gary Ballance scoring 81 not out from 126 balls. The only casualty was Jonathan Trott who was shell shocked to be dismissed for a three-ball duck when he played on to Shannon Gabriel. The Man of the Match was Joe Root.
The third and final Test match of this series will be at Bridgetown in Barbados and it begins on the 1st of May.