Still trying to repair the damage caused by its poor performance at the Cricket World Cup, England will head into this month’s test series against New Zealand on the back of a five-wicket loss to the West Indies in Barbados.
James Anderson took six wickets in the West Indies’ first innings, but a limp batting display from England enabled the hosts to come from behind and level the three-test series 1–1.
Jermaine Blackwood (47 not out) and Darren Bravo (82) steered the Windies to their victory target of 192 on just the third day. It completed a top match double for Blackwood after he made 85 in the first innings in a low-scoring affair.
The match was significant for England captain Alastair Cook, who made his first test hundred in nearly two years. The struggling opener followed up back-to-back 50s in the second test by scoring 105 in England’s first innings of 257. The West Indies responded with 189 before England folded in its second innings to be rolled for 123. Jerome Taylor, a standout in the recent World Cup, took three wickets in each innings for the West Indies.
Anderson will now have the chance to bring up 400 test wickets in the first test against the Black Caps; the England swing bowler is sitting on 397 wickets and would become just the 12th bowler to reach the 400 mark in tests. The series starts on 21 May at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.