The West Indies recorded an historic victory by five wickets against England at Headingley yesterday (August 29th), to level the series 1-1 and show that they are a much better side than their drubbing at Edgbaston in the first Test had suggested.
England's declaration on the fourth evening after seemingly turning the game on its head looked to have cut off the West Indies revival, but instead the Caribbean side were able to get through the difficult early session and cash in as the wicket flattened out, cruising to their victory target of 322 and securing their first Test win in England since 2000.
For the second time in the match, the West Indies were indebted to Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope, who had both made centuries on the first innings. In 534 first class matches, no batsman had ever reached three figures twice in a game, but Hope did just that as he made an unbeaten 118 to steer his side home. Brathwaite had also come close to achieving the feat before he fell for 95.
Fans booking corporate hospitality for the upcoming one-day international at the Kia Oval will now need no convincing that the West Indies will be a competitive team and the series may be an excellent one.
It was the first time any side had won a Test in England after the opposition had declared their second innings since England chased down a similar total at Headingley against Australia in 2001. The last time England had suffered this way at home was against the mighty West Indies side of 1984, which chased down a target of 344 at Lord's for the loss of just one wicket.
However, that West Indies side was one of the finest in history and had gone into the Lord's Test off the back of winning by an innings at Edgbaston, the exact opposite of the situation faced by the current team. Now, however, they will know that the possibility of another famous Lord's Test win next month is not beyond them.
English fans worried about the upcoming Ashes series after this result will have been cheered up by news from Dhaka that Australia have just lost a Test to Bangladesh for the first time.
Image: Getty, from Keith Prowse subscription