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Thursday, December 8, 2022

England blown away in Third Test defeat as Caribbean curse continues

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England have won just one series in the Caribbean since 1968, and found themselves blown away in the Third Test of this edition. The first two matches were drawn, but West Indies knocked out England’s top order in Grenada, giving them no chance.

After some promise in the draws in Antigua and Barbados, this was a calamitous defeat for England. They have won just one of their last 17 Tests (and none of their last nine), and are winless in five series.

With a new managing director and head coach due to be appointed before their next Test against New Zealand in June, Joe Root’s captaincy has been left hanging by a thread, too.

Another decent local crowd showed up to watch West Indies complete the victory in under 90 minutes on day four. In the end, the margin was 10 wickets with West Indies requiring just 28 to win after England made a meagre 120 in their second innings.

AP

England’s tail gamely resisted for the best part of an hour on the fourth morning, but it was always asking too much for them to bail England out twice. Chris Woakes and Jack Leach both faced more than 50 balls and their partnership of 15 took 14 overs to compile.

They managed to evade the bouncers of Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph, but it was the introduction of the wily veteran Kemar Roach that brought a swift end to the innings.

Woakes turned his first ball to leg gully, where Jason Holder took a stunning one-handed catch, his fourth of the innings.

In his next over, Leach was caught behind. West Indies required a review to get the decision, which was the second overturned of the morning (Woakes had been given out off Joseph) and 20th of the series.

The chase was as straightforward as it sounds. Saqib Mahmood, the not-out batter, was promoted to open the bowling for the first time, but Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell took less than five overs to knock off the runs.

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