While West Indies won the first Test of the ongoing three-match Test series against the hosts England, the Caribbean Head Coach Phil Simmons credited their fourth innings hero Jermaine Blackwood for their four-wicket victory.
That Southampton Test was also the resume chapter of the international cricket, which was forced to stop after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic since last March. After the Caribbean skipper Jason Holder (6/42) and Shannon Gabriel (4/62) dominated during the first innings of this Test as England were bundled out for just 204 runs, the Caribbean team replied with 318 runs with the lead of 114 runs.
Later, Shannon Gabriel’s fifer (5/75) helped the Caribbean team to all out the hosts again for 313 runs. Chasing down the 200 runs target, once the visitors were struggling on 27/3, along with their opening batsman John Campbell’s retired hurt. However, Jermaine Blackwood fought brilliantly from that situation along with Roston Chase (37) and Shane Dowrich (20), and his 95 runs knock helped the Caribbean team to win that match by four wickets as they chased down the 200 runs target after losing six wickets.
It was only Blackwood’s second Test since October 2017. Caribbean Head Coach Phil Simmons praised right-handed middle-order batsman Blackwood for his incredible batting performance in the most crucial time.
Simmons said according to ESPNcricinfo, “I think he must be commended because he has worked very hard on trying to get that temperament right for each part of his innings. As we saw in the first innings, it was still there a bit, but in the second he controlled it a lot better. And that helped him to bring home the game for us.”
After playing 29 Tests, Blackwood has scored 1469 runs with an average of 31.25. His latest 95 runs knock was his first Test fifty since August 2017. At present, he has scored 605 runs in seven Tests against England with an average of 55.00.
Jermaine Blackwood looked at the situation and played it as well as he could have: Phil Simmons
Simmons feels that Blackwood’s mindset is improving, which is important to stretch his international career.
The Caribbean coach added, “Try to get him irrational, but I think he held his own. He looked at the situation and played it as well as he could have. So that shows that his mindset is improving, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Jermaine Blackwood, who made his Test debut in June 2014, he also played two ODIs in late 2015 where he managed to score a total of 11 runs.