West Indies appeared to be in command despite having lost early wickets on day one. Despite having lost Chandrpaul and half the team, Samuels made an unbeaten century and captain Darren Sammy was unbeaten on 88 as West Indies, at 304/6 walked back to the pavilion, satisfied with the way things went. The English bowlers were brilliant initially but later on it appeared that they were either too tired or had suddenly lost any bite that they had within.
Sammy made his maiden test century on day two. Having turned the game totally around for the Windies with Samuels, Sammy should have kept an eye on a big match-winning score. However, despite having had an easy start with Anderson and Broad putting up a disappointing display up first, Sammy seemed to be over aggressive and lost his wicket. That caused the Windies downfall and the rest of the team was packed off soon. England started their first innings defensively but eventually managed to end day two at 259/2 at stumps. The highlight of the day was the English skipper’s second consecutive hundred in as many tests. Kevin Pietersen too came up with a blistering 72.
England didn’t start day three all too well. They lost Pietersen early, who could have taken the game away in the first session itself. The West Indian bowlers put up a spirited show, picking wickets up at regular intervals and managed to restrict England to 428. The key for England were important partnerships that kept springing up. When the West Indies came out to bat, the match seemed quite well balanced. A delicious encounter was in the offing. However, some excellent bowling by England and an absolutely spineless display of batting by the West Indians left the match a one-sided affair. At stumps, West Indies was 61/6, with the first innings heroes Samuels and Sammy on crease.
Day four started with Samuels and Sammy walking out to save what appears to be a losing battle. With a non-existent lead (of 3 runs) and 6 wickets packed off to the pavilion. Both started off well, but Sammy was trapped leg before by Bresnan. Roach played some lusty blows before he was taken. Shane Shillingford and Ravi Rampaul followed suit soon. Samuels remained not out at 76 - a brilliant knock by any standards. No other West Indian batsman showed any kind of resilience the way Samuels did. The West Indies was sent back for just 165 with a slim lead of 107 runs.
England intended to win the game today itself and they did. Captain Andrew Strauss, who made a big hundred in the first innings, was the sole wicket to fall. He made 45 before he was caught of Bravo of the bowling of Marlon Samuels. Alistair Cook (45) and Jonathan Trott (17) ensured no more tense situations and saw England home.
Once again, it was the batting that led to the downfall of the West Indies. Which brings us to the question that now has stopped being trendy. Instead, it has become critical. When will the WICB sort things out and bring Chris Gayle back. If anyone has the capability in the West Indies to murder a bowling attack, it's Gayle. And Shouldn't Shane Shillingford make way for Sunil Narain? With being an important cog in his IPL team's victory run, Narine can give the Windies bowling an edge that they seem to be missing.
The next test starts as late as July 7 (with a practice game in between). The West Indies has enough time to rethink their strategy and try and stand up to the challenge. They have lost the test series already, but this is an ample chance for them to at least win the last of the three test series and partake in history.