Holder relishes ‘best day’ in Test cricket

“It was a hard-fought day of Test cricket and we really reaped the rewards at the end”

Last Updated: 12/07/20 7:33pm

Jason Holder was there at the end as West Indies completed a famous win

Jason Holder was there at the end as West Indies completed a famous win

Jason Holder was there at the end as West Indies completed a famous win

West Indies captain Jason Holder praised his side after victory over England and said day four at The Ageas Bowl was his best in Test cricket.

The tourists, led by a superb 95 from Jermaine Blackwood, sealed a famous four-wicket win after tea on the final day in Southampton but it was the previous day that most pleased Holder.

With England seemingly well placed to build an insurmountable lead, the Windies rallied and took 5-30 late in the day to set up the last-day victory.

“It is right up there with the best victories we’ve had as a group,” Holder said at the post-match presentation. “To me, yesterday was probably the best day I’ve had in Test cricket.

Shannon Gabriel bowled superbly as the tourists took 5-30 late on day four Shannon Gabriel bowled superbly as the tourists took 5-30 late on day four

Shannon Gabriel bowled superbly as the tourists took 5-30 late on day four

“It was a hard, long toil and the bowlers really put it in. Every time I asked a bowler to come up and give a spell, they came up trumps and gave a massive effort. Credit must be given to everyone yesterday, it was a hard-fought day of Test cricket and we really reaped the rewards at the end.”

Asked how he galvanised his bowlers at the end of such a difficult day, with man-of-the-match Shannon Gabriel, in particular, seemingly feeling the effects of a tough day in the field, Holder referenced his team’s mental strength.

“It is just willpower; we knew what was at stake,” he added. “We knew how important yesterday evening was, particularly. We knew we had 98 overs to bowl in the day and it was quite lucky that we could go until seven o’clock.

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“I was just doing it on time. Myself and I think it was Alzarri (Joseph), we were going to bowl until half six and then the other two (Gabriel and Kemar Roach) would come back and finish after we took the second new ball.

“It was just willpower, we knew if we got the wickets yesterday evening it would make it a lot easier and we could push for the win today. Had England batted out yesterday in a much more commanding position then it would have been much more difficult to push for a win.

“Credit to our bowlers again, every single time I asked the bowlers to come and give an effort, they ran in and gave everything on a very flat pitch.”

Holder's six wickets in the first innings of the match set the Windies on their way to victory Holder's six wickets in the first innings of the match set the Windies on their way to victory

Holder’s six wickets in the first innings of the match set the Windies on their way to victory

West Indies completed the job with the ball on Sunday morning and were left needing 200 to win. They were in trouble at 27-3 with opener John Campbell having retired hurt, but Blackwood’s fine knock took them to within touching distance of victory.

“Outstanding innings and I was just as disappointed as he was when he got out,” Holder said. “But I guess that is the way he plays.

“One thing Jermaine is never shy of is effort, he’s fearless and that is something I can always tolerate. He’s a guy that can cross a few but with these kind of cricketers you can expect big moments and I guess today was his big moment.”

Watch day one of the second #raisethebat Test live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30am on Thursday.

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