Cricket returned to the international stage in July, with England hosting the West Indies across three tests. Battling it out at two separate venues, the series was hotly anticipated by fans and players alike. It didn’t disappoint, with highlights and eye-catching performances from both sides.
England eventually sealed victory in the third and final test. However, the series itself has brought up several talking points for cricket fans across the globe.
No slow start for the West Indies
Whether it’s cricket India, the English county championship or the ICC, cricket in all its forms always commands a strong viewership of neutrals and passionate fans. England vs the West Indies was no different.
Though the opener was cut short by rain, the two teams re-emerged the following day in good spirits and batted excellently, scoring similarly in each innings. Though it was a close tie, the West Indies managed to edge to victory by four wickets, meaning the onus was on England to reply.
England dominant in the second test
What followed after a disappointing first test for England was a superb display of efficient batting and bowling from a side that’s looked well in-form for some time now. With centuries from both Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley, England cruised to an impressive 469 in their first innings of the second test, a score West Indies just couldn’t make ground on as they were bowled out for 287.
This display would set the standard for England’s dominance heading to the third test, where they certainly turned the screw on the Windies.
Broad shines in the third test
The third and final test saw Stuart Broad stand out as a real thorn in the side of the West Indian batsmen. After being left out of the first test, he proved his absence was a mistake, bowling out eight West Indies batsmen in the third test alone – making a total of 14 over the last two.
Before Broad’s introduction, the Windies were in a comfortable position having scored 170 with relative ease. The Caribbean side’s efforts proved inadequate against his all-out assault on the stumps, however, and he led the charge to victory for the Lions.
On top of this, with 499 Test wickets, Stuart Broad is only one away from becoming only the fourth bowler to reach 500 and become of England’s greats.
Rahkeem Cornwall the ‘man mountain’
There may have been a number of impressive performances from players across the West Indies team, but no one has caught the eye of the public more than newly dubbed ‘man mountain’ Rahkeem Cornwall.
Standing at 6’6 and weighing around 22 stone, the 27-year-old may have had little impact with his introduction in the third test, but his spin bowling abilities have impressed many and he’s been widely regarded as a positive image for the game.
His stature has made him a figure of inspiration for those looking for wider representation of differing body-types in sport.
Young excellence from Ollie Pope
Another player to make mention of is Ollie Pope, the young England prospect who batted admirably in the third test to solidify his team’s dominance.
The 22-year-old, who made his international debut back in 2018 against India, struck an excellent 91 in the first day of this final test.
Since his debut, he’s made several appearances for England across 2019 and back in January of this year, he knocked out his first century against South Africa.
England legend Michael Vaughan has said that Pope is the most exciting young player to come out of England since current captain Joe Root.