nsucurrent.com February 20, 2018

Brathwaite, Hope star as Windies register stunning series-levelling win

30 August 2017, 01:50 | Nina Perez

To be the best

Australia: Shambolic defeat raises serious questions

Kraigg Brathwaite narrowly missed out on the distinction, being out for 95 in the second innings after having hit 134 in the first, though he and Hope shared a crucial 144-run stand for the third wicket that put the visiting side on track for the eventual win. But as this match has proven, Test cricket is at its most thrilling when it reaches a crescendo.

Jermaine Blackwood was positive as he slashed his way to 41 off 45 balls to send the home team's fielders scurrying all over Headingley before he was out stumped with two runs still needed.

Hope, who scored 147 in the first innings, remained unbeaten on 118 in the second innings to take his side to a five-wicket win.

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.

Broad should have struck in the fourth over of the morning, following a 15-minute delayed start due to drizzle, when Brathwaite, on 4, edged a lifting delivery towards first slip but it burst through the hands of Alastair Cook.

The home side did not bowl as consistently as they might have wished with Chris Woakes, Stokes and Moeen Ali proving expensive at times and aside from the first hour, England's bowlers found less from a fifth-day pitch than they might have expected.

It is also the second-highest successful chase ever in Test matches at Headingley and now gives them a chance to win the series at Lord's.

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".

"I think it's put a lot of doubters out there to bed", Law told Sky Sports.

England s plight was summed up when Cook dropped Shai Hope on 106.

Of Hope's display, which was studded with steel as well as elegance, he added: "I'm really proud of him".

Hope's Test average was below 20 prior to the Headingley Test, but he followed up his maiden century in fine fashion with another stylish innings on Tuesday.

"I'm elated, we've been working really hard as a team and we're pleased to get over the line". He's been going through a form dip but, hopefully, the pretty 20s are gone and the pretty 120s are here to stay. "(He's got) plenty of courage, plenty of character and plenty of determination".

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