England v West Indies: Shai Hope guides tourists to thrilling Test victory

By Jack SkeltonBBC Sport
Second Investec Test, Headingley, day four
England 258 & 490-8 dec: Moeen 84, Root 72, Malan 61, Woakes 61*
West Indies 427 & 322-5: S Hope 118*, K Brathwaite 95
West Indies win by five wickets

West Indies produced a masterful chase to win a Test in England for the first time in 17 years with a five-wicket victory in a thrilling match.

The nerveless Shai Hope led them to their target of 322, becoming the first man to score a century in both innings of a first-class match at Headingley.

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite had earlier struck a superb 95 after being dropped by Alastair Cook on four.

Aided by Jermaine Blackwood's 41, Hope hit the winning runs to finish on 118.

Victory for the tourists - which looked unlikely at the start of day five, particularly given their heavy defeat in the first Test - ties the series at 1-1 before the decider at Lord's from 7-11 September.

In scoring the 317 further runs they required on day five, West Indies completed the 20th highest successful fourth-innings chase in Test history, and third highest in England.

Hope springs eternal

Hope entered this Test with an average of 18 after 11 matches, but leaves it having set one of the most long-awaited records in cricket history - this was the 534th first-class match played at Headingley.

His 147 in the first innings was sublime. His second century, in the context of the match, was even better - a nerveless knock, filled with sweetly timed cover drives, deft clips off his legs and resolute defence.

This was not just a coming of age but a performance for the ages, the 23-year-old's turnaround from his pained display at Edgbaston reflective of his side's stirring comeback from the ignominy of losing 19 wickets in a day.

He and Brathwaite combined for 246 in the first innings, and put on 144 second time around, the opener more cagey but accumulating well as it seemed he would be first to the record, only to edge a tossed-up Moeen Ali delivery to Ben Stokes.

Significant damage had been done, though. Cook put down a chance he would routinely take 91 runs earlier, while Stuart Broad also dropped a tough caught-and-bowled opportunity with Brathwaite on 29.

The ball cannoned off Broad's thigh to run out Hope's brother Kyle for a duck at the non-striker's end but, given what followed, England will have preferred Brathwaite to be the man walking off.

Substitute fielder Mason Crane took a stunning catch to remove Roston Chase for 30, and the irrepressible Blackwood was stumped chasing a big finish, but Hope and Braithwaite had ensured it was too late for an England rescue act.

Was Root right to declare?

Captain Joe Root declared with England on 490-8 in their second innings late on day four, giving West Indies six tricky overs to negotiate before the close.

Openers Brathwaite and Kieran Powell came through unscathed, reaching 5-0, but Root's decision - one which former England spinner Graeme Swann said stamped the Yorkshireman's authority on his side - was notable in its boldness compared to predecessors Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss.

When Powell edged Broad to Stokes at fourth slip to make it 53-2, Root's call was being vindicated. With runs flowing and Root wearing a haunted look for the last half of the day, it looked ill-judged. Context is everything.

Some will preach safety first. Others will hope this does not curb Root's attacking instincts in only his second series as captain.

Chris Woakes was set on 61 not out in that second innings, although James Anderson was the only man to come in and perhaps worth keeping fresh to bowl, while declaring decreased the chance of West Indies batting for a draw.

Ultimately, Root and England may have to just concede that - Anderson aside - they did not bowl full or accurately enough on a balanced pitch and were beaten by two batting performances of rare quality.

The Test of the summer

This was by some distance the most entertaining and tensest Test match of the summer. It was only the second to go to a fifth day - the other being England's 239-run victory before tea against South Africa at The Oval.

There were flaws amid some fine performances from the likes of Hope, Brathwaite, Stokes and Moeen - West Indies and England conceding 238 and 228 runs respectively due to dropped catches - but it was utterly enthralling.

This match alone will not save Test cricket from declining interest and its struggle for position against cricket's other formats.

This victory alone will not save West Indies cricket from all its problems and disputes between the board and more well-known players.

But, for now, all that can wait. Roll on Lord's.

'We put the doubters to bed' - reaction

West Indies captain Jason Holder: "I always believed in this group, we've done some pretty decent things in the last few months, it's about putting things together more often than not - I told the guys to believe in and execute our plans.

"It was nerve-wracking with Jermaine Blackwood, a lot of credit must go to him with how well he played and not changing his style of play. I told Shai to remember his first innings century and he did it again - I'm really proud of him and Kraigg and the work they're doing is paying off.

"There are a number of areas we can improve on, especially with the ball. We need to hold our chances, those errors have plagued us in last few months and when we knuckle down and show fight in our innings it makes life much easier."

England captain Joe Root: "It was a great Test for everyone watching, it wasn't great to be on the losing side, but I'm sure people watching have had a great time today.

"Shai Hope played exceptionally well, on a fifth day against high-quality bowling it was a great knock and credit to them for the way they came back after last week.

"At no point were we complacent in the game - I'm really proud of the effort we showed to get in a position to win, but unfortunately it wasn't to be."

West Indies coach Stuart Law, speaking to Sky Sports: "After the kicking we got at Edgbaston, to get the boys back up and looking forward and then to achieve what they've done in the last five days was huge. I'm very proud of them.

"It's put a lot of doubters out there to bed - it takes a lot of character to come out after the beating we got to beat the same side, especially in seam friendly conditions.

"I'm really proud of Shai Hope, he's been going through a form dip but hopefully the pretty 20s are gone and the pretty 120s are here to stay."

'Defeat could have been worse' - analysis

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: "Let's be honest, if West Indies hadn't dropped seven catches this defeat could have been worse for England. It's a remarkable turnaround and I'm so pleased for West Indies cricket."

Former England spinner Graeme Swann: "From a Test cricket point of view, this is a heartwarming victory. I'm glad this has happened, as much as it's pained me to say it."

Test Match Special commentator Fazeer Mohammed: "This was one of the most remarkable transformations in the history of Test cricket.

"When Shai Hope was nine years old he was interviewed on Barbados TV and asked what his dream was. He said he wanted to play for West Indies. Dreams do come true."


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