Alzarri Joseph played a small but vital part as West Indies ended 10 years of pain to win a series against England. Joseph took four wickets in the second Test match at the Sir Vivian Richards Ground in Antigua as Jason Holder’s side won the Test match by 10 wickets to take an unassailable 2-0 lead and regain the Wisden Trophy. However, despite the historic feat, the celebrations from the 22-yeard old in front of his home fans was muted. Just before the start of day 3, news came through that Joseph’s mother Sharon had died after a long battle with illness. Despite the tragedy, Joseph decided to play and push the West Indies for a series-leveling win.
Before play again, players work black armbands and Joseph chipped in with seven runs batting at No.10 as West Indies managed to take a 119-run lead. Joseph had impressed everyone with his pace and control in the first innings as he accounted for Joe Root and Joe Denly after England were bowled out for 187. In the second innings, in a hostile seven-over spell, Joseph regularly crossed over 90 mph.
In the second innings, Joseph accounted for Root with a vicious in-ducker that cut the England skipper in half. There was an appeal for a catch but the umpire did not give it. The review was taken and Real Time Snicko showed a spike and Root was dismissed for 7. Joseph then got rid of Denly with a good length ball that nipped back in and the batsman offered no shot to be bowled for 17. The ball hit the top of off stump and West Indies once again dominated. Joseph’s spell of 7-4-12-2 set up the game nicely for Kemar Roach (4/52) and Jason Holder (4/43) as West Indies won the match by 10 wickets in front of a joyous crowd in Antigua.
Fittingly, Joseph ended the match in style by taking the catch off last man James Anderson when the batsman miscued the shot to mid-on and the youngster dived forward to take the catch. He was on the ground and there was visible emotion as the West Indies players congratulated him.
After the end of the match, West Indies skipper Holder dedicated the win to Joseph’s mother. “We started the day with a daunting task. For Alzarri to come out after that kind of news, it's an extremely special performance. This was for him and his family. We are hungry for success, and credit to the boys for sticking to the task. This group has been together for the last two and a half years,” Holder said.
West Indies will be aiming to achieve a 3-0 whitewash against England as they head to St Lucia for the third and final Test.