NEWS

England secure series win over West Indies

September 11, 2017

England will go into this month's limited overs matches against the West Indies in good heart after securing victory in the Test series with a nine-wicket win at Lord's. 

In a low-scoring game - the first competed Test England have played in which no team has passed 200 since November 1990 - England bowled out the West Indies in their second innings for 177 and then knocked off the 107 needed for victory for the loss of just one wicket.
 
Although Ben Stokes was man of the match for his score of 60 and bowling analysis of 6-22 in the West Indies' first innings, it was James Anderson who dominated proceedings in the second innings. Having become the first Englishman to take 500 Test wickets when he bowled opener Kraigg Brathwaite on the second evening, he went on to take his best return in Tests with 7-42, beating his 7-43 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in 2008. 

Shai Hope produced a dogged 62 in a bid to keep the West Indies in the hunt, but he was dismissed by an unplayable Anderson delivery as England, despite a string of dropped catches, took a decisive grip on the game. 

Anderson's bowling feat capped a summer in which he took 39 wickets at 14.1, with identical averages against both South Africa and the West Indies. His reward has been a return to the top of the ICC's Test bowling rankings, overtaking India's Ravi Jadeja. Only Jim Laker has taken more Test wickets for England in a summer. At 35, Anderson remains a supreme athlete at the peak of his powers.

With Alastair Cook falling cheaply, it was left to Mark Stoneman and Tom Westley to produce impressive and positive innings of 40 not out and 44 not out respectively to see England home and boost their chances of making the Ashes tour. Dawid Malan will also hope he can remain in the squad at the end of a summer when the selectors have been seeking to resolve a trio of problem batting positions. 

While the summer's final Test has been played, fans booking corporate hospitality for the upcoming one-day international at the Kia Oval may see which players can produce the performances to ensure they are in the limited overs squad heading down under. 

The match will be one of five in the series, before which there will be a Twenty20 encounter at Chester-le-Street.

While one veteran has gone on making history and young players have sought to cement a place in the side, the match ended with one great figure of English cricket bowing out. 

Commentating on BBC Radio for Test Match Special for the final time, Henry Blofeld followed his valedictory performance behind the microphone by completing a post-match lap of honour in a pink and green outfit every bit as colourful as his memorable commentaries.

The moment when he handed over the microphone for the last time was marked by a standing ovation from both his fellow commentators and the crowd. Moments later, there was a flash of lightning in the distance, suggesting his departure was also being acknowledged in higher places.

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