West Indies started 2019 on a grand note as they defeated England by a record margin of 381 runs in the first Test in Barbados to take a 1-0 lead in the series. The win was made possible thanks to skipper Jason Holder’s brilliant, unbeaten 202 and his partnership of 295 for the seventh wicket with Shane Dowrich which gave England a massive target to chase. However, it was the exploits of offspinner Roston Chase, who created his own record to end with 8/60, his best haul in Tests as England started off what has been deemed a crucial year for the side with the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Ashes against Australia held one after the other in their home.
After Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel had gotten the wickets of Keaton Jennings (14) and Jonny Bairstow (30), it was the Chase show and England was completely undone by the 26-year-old playing in front of his home fans. Chase accounted for Rory Burns (84) with a delivery that drifted back in past the gap between bat and pad to dismiss him just on the stroke of lunch. In the first hour after the break, Chase got the massive wicket of England skipper Joe Root for 22 as he poked at an offbreak to be caught by Darren Bravo at slip.
Just before the tea break, Chase trapped Ben Stokes LBW for 34 while Moeen Ali bagged a pair by steering a quicker delivery straight to Holder at slip. The carnage by Chase continued when Jos Buttler flicked to short mid-wicket where John Campbell the debutant dived to his left to take a splendid catch. With Chase completing his second five-wicket haul, West Indies went for the kill. Ben Foakes (5) whipped a short delivery to short leg but Shimron Hetmyer held on to a sharp catch while Adil Rashid (1) holed out to deep midwicket. West Indies completed the win when Sam Curran (17) was stumped down the leg side to give West Indies yet another win against England.
Chase’s haul of 8/60 is the second-best haul by a West Indies bowler in Tests against England. Curtly Ambrose holds the best figures when he took 8/45 at the same venue in 1990. West Indies’ victory margin of 381 runs is the third-highest in their Test history in terms of runs. They had defeated England by 425 runs in Manchester in 1976 while they thrashed Australia by 408 runs in Adelaide in 1980.
Chase’s 8/60 is the sixth-best haul by a West Indies bowler in Tests. Jack Noreiga, the offspinner holds the record for the best figures when he took 9/95 against India in Port of Spain in 1971. Colin Croft took 8/29 against Pakistan in Port of Spain in 1977 while Lance Gibbs picked up 8/38 against India in Barbados in 1962. Ambrose’s 8/45 against England in 1990 is in the fourth spot while Devendra Bishoo took 8/49 against Pakistan in the Pink Ball Test in Dubai in 2016.
West Indies will now play England in the second Test beginning on January 31 at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium in Antigua.