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England vs West Indies, 1st Test at Southampton, WI in ENG, Jul 08 2020 - Ball by Ball Commentary

1st Test, Southampton, July 08 - 12, 2020, West Indies tour of England
204 & 313
(T:200) 318 & 200/6

West Indies won by 4 wickets

Player Of The Match
4/62 & 5/75
WI 2nd Innings
Full commentary

6.25pm: Cricket, lovely cricket. At Southampton where we saw it. It's been wonderful to be back, after long weeks and months shut inside. Thanks, as always, for contributing over the last five days - you've got a short break, then we need you to back it up again in Manchester. Got that? Until then, I'll leave you with Matt's report, and the promise of much more to come. From myself and Varun, as well as Miller, Shashank, Deiva, our scorer, Venkat, stay safe and join us again soon. Cheerio!

6.07pm: What a Test, what a sport... and that's set up the series beautifully. Right, here we go with the presentations, starting with England captain Ben Stokes: "I think it's great we've been able to get back on and play international cricket, was a bit strange, we're used to playing in front of a lot more people. From the point of getting cricket back on the screens for people it's been amazing. [Quality of play] Both sides have had a long time to build up, we came into camp 3-4 weeks ago and West Indies have been in Manchester. Don't think there was nerves flying around, it was a hard-fought game and great when games go to day five. Thought skills and level of cricket was fantastic. [Target of 200 enough?] You've got to believe, if you start to think you don't have enough you're already losing. Ideally would like to get more in the first innings, was first innings v fourth innings match, we got ourselves in good positions with the bat but weren't ruthless enough to go on. [Change toss call?] I don't think so, stand by decision to bat first, we've got to be good enough to put runs on board We know we've got to get 400, 500 on the board, which makes the fame in your favour. We just didn't quit manage to grasp the game like we might ave done, but it's a great learning curve for or batting line-up. [Broad call?] If I was to regret that, I don't think it sends the right message to other guys, very fortunate to leave a guy out of Stuart's quality, and the interview he gave was fantastic, to show that desire and emotion, it's fantastic to see. He's by nowhere near done. [Mad 15 mins] Pressure shows in different ways, there was some hectic running and chances we didn't quit take, that's sport. Pressure on both sides in situations like that. We'll be able to look back on this game with positive but also a learning curve. We've had a long build-up period, but you can never quit e get to those levels on the field, be interesting to see how everyone pulls up. But we've got a lot of people we can select for next Test. I've loved it, last night was first stressful one, but it's Joe's team, he's the captain, look forward to welcoming him back."

West Indies captain Jason Holder: Right up there with one of the best victories we've had a a group. Yesterday was hard, long toil and the bowlers keep coming back, gave everything, it was a hard-fought day of Test cricket. [Long lay-off?] I don't think any team knew how it would play, been sat at home doing nothing, just got the opportunity to play but mentally at the back of your mind you're never quite sure. It's willpower, we know what was at at stake, we had 98 overs to bowl and we were leggy come 7pm. Myself and Alzarri bowled until half six and the other two come back. If we'd got the wickets yesterday, it would have made the job a lot easier, but we came back today. Every time I asked them to, they ran in. [Blackwood?] Outstanding innings, I was disappointed when he got out but that's the way he plays. He's sat on the sidelines waiting, last time was a concussion sub in Kingston. He always gives effort, and today was his big moment."

Shannon Gabriel is Man of the Match: [Not in original squad] "Coming here I knew I would play if I proved my fitness, knew the work I had put in, it would take care of itself. I'm still stiff, but couple of days to recover to the next match, so got to do the things to get ready. [Four quicks play all three Tests?] Depends on the next couple of games go, the recovery between and during innings, but the guys are fit and want to play all the games. Coming here, the guys were confident after we played them in the Caribbean, knowing we could get the job done, if we prepare well everything will take care of itself."

Marvin Hinds: "What a return for cricket. Well done to the Windies. They've done us proud."
Brendan: "It's a whacky looking scorecard with the opening batter 8* chasing 200 to win!"
Vishal Kankanal: "Blackwood, who was ridiculed in the 1st inns has stood up in the 2nd one and raked in the most valuable knock - zero to hero, grabbed his opportunity perfectly.Cricket is such a leveler and it teaches us life. Don't anyone ever dare to say, why are you wasting time watching it.."
Sarah: "What a game!! I honestly got goosebumps watching those last few runs... I think Jason holder can be a contender for man of the match though... excellent bowling and superb captaincy. Full team performance . Very proud of them "
corniel seddon: "What a display from the West Indian team!!! Really pleased for them as a slighty biased neutral from South Africa. A well deserved win!!!!"

5:54pm Rally on the West Indies! Fist bumps and forearm bumps and quiet stadiums - but a famous win, nonetheless. It's been a long, long break for international cricket but what a glorious return it has been. So many sub-plots to this as well, but lest we forget - this is a WTC match. And these are West Indies' first points on the board - 40 of them. For England, another series begins with a loss - that's now five series in a row. Including the one they lost to West Indies away last year. It's always been more evenly matched between these two teams than is given credit for. England had to work hard to stay in this game, and in many moments seemed to have done just enough. But they let some chances go today. And West Indies held on. So much to remember about this game - Holder's 6-for, Stokes keeping England in with both bat and ball. Scrappy, important runs for Brathwaite who was been hunting for a fifty since July 2018. Important innings for youngsters Sibley and Crawley. Gabriel turning it on in the last session yesterday and finishing with five today. And, of course, Jofra bringing the fire to keep all the criticism in check. Cricket is back with force. Savour it.

Stokes to Campbell, 1 run

there it is, 1-0! Length ball angled in at middle stump. Campbell shuffles and nudges this to midwicket's left and the early call is there. Jason Holder runs through to seal the win for his team

David : "@63.4 I reckon anyone who has been hit twice would be aware of any opportunity to get off strike." --- ha!

Stokes to Campbell, FOUR runs

levels the scores! And flashes a big smile. Dropped short of a length, just outside off, and he gives this slash everything. It whizzes past the gully fielder

end of over 641 run
WI: 195/6CRR: 3.04 
Jason Holder14 (36b 1x4)
John Campbell3 (24b)
Mark Wood 12-0-36-1
Ben Stokes 10-1-34-2
Wood to Holder, no run

length and in at middle stump, nudged to midwicket off the back foot

Anubhav : "Great mikey says "he is balanced, one on the toe one on the head"..."

Wood to Holder, no run

bouncer wide outside off, left alone

Wood to Campbell, 1 run

steals a run from behind the bowler. England switched off for a bit and Campbell has the presence of mind to call Holder through. Full and in at off stump, driven down the pitch and Wood can only get that to slow down as it dribbles behind him

Wood to Campbell, no run

short of a length outside off, cut firmly to backward point

Wood to Campbell, no run

straight into the grille. What do the fast bowlers, say? Toes and nose? Campbell copping it all today. Mean bouncer from Wood, around the wicket, and he drops the bat as that heads for the helmet. He's on his feet, thankfully. Wood checks to see if he's okay and gets a nod. The doctor's checked him as well and has gone off now. Not sure if a concussion test was done in that short a period. Those rules still apply, remember. For now, Campbell goes on.

Wood to Campbell, no run

short and wide outside off, left alone

end of over 634 runs
WI: 194/6CRR: 3.07 
Jason Holder14 (34b 1x4)
John Campbell2 (20b)
Ben Stokes 10-1-34-2
Mark Wood 11-0-35-1
Stokes to Holder, no run

short of a length in the corridor, solidly behind to defend this on the back foot

Stokes to Campbell, 1 run

full and swung into the corridor, driven off the low part of the bat. Far enough to mid-off's right to take the single from him

Stokes to Campbell, no run

length and coming in from outside off. Left alone

Stokes to Holder, 1 run

short and at the hips, used the angle to get that down to fine leg

Stokes to Holder, 2 runs

into single digits. Length ball into middle stump. Walks across the stumps and clips this to midwicket's right

Stokes to Holder, no run

overpitched outside off, driven handsomely to mid-off

5-1-15-2 - Ben Stokes to continue the spell that has kept England alive

end of over 621 run
WI: 190/6CRR: 3.06 
John Campbell1 (18b)
Jason Holder11 (30b 1x4)
Mark Wood 11-0-35-1
Ben Stokes 9-1-30-2
Wood to Campbell, no run

length and in at middle stump, solidly defended towards mid-on

Point goes out now, they're trying to keep Campbell in strike

Wood to Campbell, no run

length ball wide outside off, left alone

Wood to Campbell, no run

length and in at off stump, solidly defended on the front foot

Wood to Campbell, no run

beats the edge. Length in the corridor, defends inside the line of that

Animesh Chatter: "Convinced my dad (who is also a big windies fan but extremely nervous about watching them bat given their recent history) to come and watch the game now with just 11 needed and Blackwood got out first ball! He has gone back now."

Wood to Campbell, no run

length and in at middle stump, defended down the pitch

Around to Campbell, two slips and a gully

Wood to Holder, 1 run

length and in at off stump, calmly taps this into the point region off the front foot

Mark Wood is back for a burst now. Two slips in place. Point is on the fence.

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