‘Bajan boys’ responded well to critics in 1st Test
– scored 498 runs and bagged 15 wickets combined
By Brandon Corlette
At every corner shop, every chill spot in the Caribbean, people are buzzing: “West Indies beat people bad.” It was the perfect Test match for the men in maroon, defeating the visiting team, England, by a comprehensive 381 runs.
West Indies are currently ranked number eight in the Test rankings while England are the world’s number three ranked team that defeated the world number one, India a few months ago. It was certainly Test cricket at its best in Barbados with a playing XI that consisted of six Bajan players.
The flying fish in every Barbadian native’s plate flew high when the six Barbadian players produced 498 of 704 runs combined and 15 of 20 wickets combined. Opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite had scores of 40 and 24 with the bat. Windies number three batsman, the finesse-filled Shai Hope had scores of 57 and 3 with the bat, and four catches along with one stumping.
Roston Chase scored 54 runs with the bat and returned in the second innings with career-best figures of 8-60. Test specialist, Windies and Barbados wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich scored 116 runs and took two catches with the gloves in the first innings when England were bowled out for 77.
The pepper was then placed on the boneless flying-fish when Windies Captain and the new number one Test all-rounder in the world, Jason Holder scored 207 runs in the match including his maiden double ton. Holder led from the front; also picking up two wickets during the match. His 202* was a record-breaking knock; it was the third highest score by a number eight in Test cricket. Holder joins the elite list of Wasim Akram (257*) and Imtiaz Ahmed (209).
The main reason for the demolition that England suffered in the first innings was due to Barbadian speedster Kemar Roach. It was all eyes on Roach and his golden chain bouncing on his chest as he ran briskly towards Jos Butler and hit the Kensington Oval pitch; he got the jumping Englishman caught behind to capture his ninth five-wicket haul in Tests. The first Test match was one to savour for the entire Land of Flying fish. The Prime Minister, Mia Mottley showed appreciation to the regional team, making her way onto the field after the monumental victory.
West Indies will now shift their focus to the second Test match in North Sound, Antigua. The Holder-led team have bounced back from their horrific Test series in Bangladesh and will be aiming to clinch the series in the second Test. In the post-match press conference, Holder stated that consistency was key moving forward and they would be seeking to repeat their performance.
The squad for the second Test remained unchanged with the eight Barbadians regaining their places after their stellar performances. Depending on the pitch prepared for the second Test match in Antigua that will begin on Thursday, January 31, Barbadian Jomel Warrican may be added if the track suit spinners. The other Barbadian in the squad, newbie Shamarh Brooks will have to wait for his maiden selection in the Test team; if Darren Bravo fails, Brooks may be selected.
“Big Jase”, “Chase”, “Dowrich” and “Roach” were some of the chants the Barbadian supporters were involved in; at some point in 2019, will all eight Barbadians play in the Test XI?