NEWS

Edgbaston enjoys huge public support for day-night Test

August 21, 2017

Edgbaston has spent the last few days at the centre of the cricketing world after hosting the first day-night Test to be played in England, with a bumper crowd of over 23,000 on Saturday (August 19th) as the home side raced to a huge win.

The three days of play that took place before the game was over were all nearly sold out, with a temporary stand being added behind the Stanley Barnes Stand to meet demand.

While those enjoying corporate hospitality were able to revel in some outstanding service and enjoy the historic action out on the field, the crowd made merry, with the usual array of fancy dress in the Hollies Stand helping provide plenty of atmosphere.

While the sight of a pink ball in use under floodlights was a first for English cricket and gave the team preparation for similar matches in Adelaide and Auckland over the winter, on the field the players were making records in other ways.

Alastair Cook's mammoth 243, which earned him the man of the match award, was not even his highest score at Edgbaston, but it did enable him to overtake David Gower - who has also made two Test double centuries at the venue - as England's highest Test run-scorer at the venue. 

However, the bigger landmark was achieved by Stuart Broad, who became the second England bowler to overtake Sir Ian Botham's former record tally of 383 Test wickets. The Nottinghamshire fast bowler, who had complained initially that he was unhappy with the pink ball, found his length and his form to help run through the West Indian batting twice, picking up five wickets over the course of the two innings. At one stage in the second innings he was on a hat-trick. 

With James Anderson also in the wickets and taking his Test career tally to 492, it was the first time since the days of Fred Trueman and Brian Statham in the 1960s that England's two leading Test wicket-takers were playing in the same match. 

Speaking after the match, Broad said he wants to carry on playing until at least the 2019 Ashes. 

He said: "I have a lot of cricket left in me. I'm really enjoying being a part of this team and hopefully have a few more miles in the tank."

He added: "I'll be 33 in 2019. I certainly hope that my performances will keep improving so that I'm part of that 2019 Ashes."

With the Ashes looming this winter, he added that he had no wish to be rested for the remainder of the series. 

He will have good reason to think this way. The West Indies also re-wrote the record books on Saturday, but in the wrong way by losing 19 wickets in a day for the first time. The loss by an inning and 209 runs was not their biggest ever defeat, but the place where that happened in 2007 - Headingley - is the venue for the second Test. 

There has been much lamenting of the decline of the once mighty West Indies, but as fans and pundits alike expect England to cruise to an easy 3-0 series win, the memories of Edgbaston under its floodlights will linger. With the Natwest T20 Blast Finals Day still to come, 2017 has already been a memorable season for the ground.

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