July 1, 2000

England win more than just a Test Match

After scoring only half the West Indian total on first innings, the England fightback was remarkable. Poor though the West Indies batsmen were second time round, it still took marvellous bowling to tumble them out for 54. They then had to tackle a target of 188, not great on paper, but when it is considered how frail their recent batting has been and the notorious skill the West Indies have in defending small targets, few would have made them favourites to win. Yet they stuck to their task and completed the job, despite all the tourists could throw at them. They also overcame the Lord's 'hoodoo' of recent years where they have become accustomed to losing to inspired tourists.

England have won more than a Test match; they have saved the international season on 2000 from disaster. Had they gone two-nil down in the series, public interest would have evaporated quicker than the steam from Courtney's forehead. England can continue the season on equal terms.

    England expects:
    Momentum must be mantained

It is now up to the players to follow this up. In recent years there have been too many heartening one-off victories, followed by a return to mediocrity. England have proved they have one of the best seam bowling attacks in world cricket, and that is the place to start. The World Cup apart, they have a good home record in one-day internationals. The momentum must be maintained. We cannot claim England has turned the corner until the Oval Test is completed. But today's victory has given the season's international programme a new chance and a new hope.