It was the first time in almost 50 years when rain washed the first two days of an English home test ever. and once that happened, there was a very slim chance that either team would get a win at Edgbaston. After two days of play, a draw was almost inevitable. On the final day of the last test match between England and the West Indies, the thunder-Gods were in a playful mood again, as the rains stopped the match as it was.
Play was abandoned a long time after the day started with showers. The umpires should have called it earlier but they waited till the last minute, just to make sure. By the time it was official, there was just one fan sitting in the entire stadium.
England had already won the 3-test series 2-0 and had nothing to prove. They had even rested their two top bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson for the last test.
The West Indies had to take at least a little pride home with them and were aiming to go all out. After all, this being the final test would mean the team coming out on top here would carry on the confidence to the limited over leg of the rubber. But with the first two days gone and the possibility of an injury to their Mr Dependable Chanderpaul keeping him out of the match, winning was an improbability. They gave it all they had after batting first day by the end of day 3, they were 280 for 8. The record breaking 10th wicket partnership between Denesh Ramdin and Tino Best saw the West Indies go up to an astonishing 426. Wouldn’t Tino Best have loved to yell out to the Barmy Army to “Mind the windows!”
England’s bowling attack had finished their spells shakily and it was the same story when they started batting. Getting reduced to 49 for 3, they looked like they were giving the game away. But Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell pulled their team right back and England finished day 4 at 221 for 5. Those anticipating a re-run of Sunil Narine’s IPL fortunes were disappointed. He barely tested the English batsmen.
Unfortunately, that was the end of the test match which saw a lot of surprises like England’s early loss of wickets, the West Indies’ superb last man partnership, Sunil Narine’s superstardom coming a cropper and Denesh Ramdin’s shot at Sir Viv Richards after scoring his century (Ramdin held up a note towards the commentator’s box that read ‘Yeh Viv Talk Nah’ or ‘yeah Viv talk now’, in response to the legendary batsman’s scathing criticism of Ramdin.)
Tino Best was judged Man of the Match due to his blistering 95 runs, the highest score by a number 11 in test cricket ever. Marlon Samuels was the West Indies’ Man of the Series with 386 runs. Something sweet for the islanders to take hear from.
England’s fabled “depth in field” was certainly put to the test at Edgbaston but they showed why they are and always have been a force to reckon with in test matches. As for the West Indies, Denesh Ramdin proved himself out there and Tino Best got himself a huge fan following after his knock of 95. So they didn’t actually finish empty handed. Now it’s onto the 3-match ODI series between the two, the first on being on the 16th of June.