West Indies registered a stunning Test win over England in Southampton on Sunday to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
But more than their victory, it was the way in which they outclassed England in their own den over the course of four days which left a smile on every cricket lover’s face.
Social media was flooded with congratulatory messages for Jason Holder’s team, who chased down the target of 200 with 4 wickets in hand on the final day of the Southampton Test.
India captain Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Viv Richards, Virender Sehwag were among the first batch of cricketers who paid rich tributes to the Windies, which became the first cricket team to win an international match after the resumption of the sport following cricket’s 117-day break due to Covid-19.
First game after the break belongs to us!
Some gritty performance from the lads. This team deserves the win in this game. Congratulations boys
— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) July 12, 2020
Good all-round performances by players from both teams.
Jermaine Blackwood played a crucial knock in a tense situation to see @windiescricket through. An important win which has set up the series perfectly. #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/PLbJlqIe8c
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 12, 2020
Wow @windiescricket what a win. Top display of test cricket.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) July 12, 2020
Test Cricket matters, winning overseas matters, @windiescricket doing well in Test cricket matters. Great to see Test Match cricket back and great to see West Indies win. A phenomenal effort from the whole WI team. Congratulations #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/yKUILMdOEr
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 12, 2020
Many congratulations @windiescricket on a brilliant win. Great display of skills and maturity and extremely well led by Jason Holder. Top knock from Blackwood in the fourth innings and West Indies showing how it is done #ENGvWI pic.twitter.com/Y09bLzwaYk
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) July 12, 2020
— Daren Sammy (@darensammy88) July 12, 2020
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) July 12, 2020
The win saw Holder become the joint 3rd-most successful West Indies captain. He has won 4 out of the 6 Tests he has led against England.
West Indian captains with maximum Test victories
36 – Clive Lloyd (74 Tests)
27 – Viv Richards (50)
11 – Richie Richardson (24)
11 – Jason Holder (33)
10 – Brian Lara (47)#ENGvWI #EngvWIN
This is Holder’s 4th win over England in six Tests as captain!
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 12, 2020
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) July 12, 2020
Jermaine Blackwood’s fighting 95 in the second innings helped West Indies seal a four-wicket win over England on a gripping final day of the first test at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday.
Chasing 200 to win, West Indies lost three early wickets but Blackwood shared a 73-run stand with Roston Chase (37) to revive their hopes before skipper Jason Holder and John Campbell steadied the ship to guide the visitors home.
West Indies have never lost a Test while chasing a target of 200 or less and they made sure to keep that record intact, winning the first international match after cricket’s return following the 117-day hiatus due to the Covid-19 crisis. This is also the first time West Indies have won a match in the longest format in England in 22 Tests.
Sadly they didn’t have any fans to celebrate the win with due to the matches being played in empty stadiums as a precautionary measure. But nonetheless, they will always be the first cricket team to register a win during a pandemic.
West Indies took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the second and third tests to be held in Manchester without fans present in the stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier, England resumed their second innings on 284-8 and were bowled out for 313. West Indies paceman Shannon Gabriel claimed his sixth five-wicket haul in tests, finishing with 5 for 75.