The game of cricket has hit the pause button for the past four months due to the coronavirus outbreak. The West Indies tour of England will thus mark the return of cricket amidst the pandemic.
England is scheduled to face West Indies for the historic three-match Test series from July 8 to July 28. The inaugural match will be held at Ageas Bowl, Southampton from Wednesday, July 8. Ahead of the mouthwatering clash, let’s take a recap of the 5 most iconic encounters between the nations.
England vs West Indies (Lord’s, 1995)
England strode to 185/3 on the opening day before collapsing to 255/8. With the ball, Angus Fraser came to the party with a five-wicket haul to restrict West Indies to a first-innings lead of just 40 runs.
On Day 3, Courtney Walsh dismissed both openers cheaply before England fought back to set a target of 296 for the West Indies.
Coming out to bat in the final session on Day 4, Brian Lara went all guns blazing against the English bowling attack. He scored 38 runs off 44 balls, scoring seven fours. But once Lara was back in the pavilion, West Indies kept losing wickets at regular intervals. West Indies were on course to win at the end of Day 4 but eventually fell 72 runs short of the target on the final day as Cork made a debut to remember.
England vs West Indies, Lord’s (2000)
The Lord’s Test was a real tug of war between both teams. At one stage of the West Indies innings, when the visitors were coasting at 162/1, Dominic Cork’s bouncers came out of the blue to dismiss Sherwin Campbell and Wavell Hinds in quick succession. When the Caribbeans came out to bat for a second time, the English bowlers wreaked havoc again.
At one point, Walsh took six wickets to have England reeling at 140/6. But his inspiring spell went in vain as the hosts eked out a narrow win. Dominic Cork triumphantly drove Courtney Walsh through the covers to get the winning runs.
England vs West Indies (Manchester, 2007)
Talking in Old Trafford’s footballing parlance, this was indeed a game of two halves. Alastair Cook had put England in cruise control with a century and Steve Harmison did the early damage to follow it up. At the end of Day 3, West Indies reeling at 22-1, were 433 runs adrift of their target.
West Indies vs England (Antigua, 2009)
In a high-scoring third Test of the 2009 series between the two nations, England rode on centuries from captain Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood to post a formidable score of 566 on board. In reply, West Indies could only muster 285, with Ramnaresh Sarwan top-scoring with 94.
England vs West Indies (Headingley, 2017)
With Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad spearheading the bowling attack for England, a West Indies win on the final day seemed unlikely. But the opposite unfurled in Headingley.
Shai Hope went on to accomplish what Braithwaite narrowly missed out on. Hope became the first player to score twin centuries in Headingley.
A huge straight six over James Anderson’s head spoke volumes about the confidence and intent of the West Indian batsmen. With only two runs to complete a historic chase and Shai Hope completed the honours as Headingley witnessed yet another classic Test match.