West Indies crushed England by 10 wickets to win the third Test and claim the three-match series on Sunday. Set just 28 for victory after dismissing the tourists for 120 in their second innings, openers Kraigg Brathwaite (20) and John Campbell (6) knocked off the runs inside five overs.
The first two Tests in Antigua and Barbados had ended in tame draws. England were dismissed for 204 in their first innings while West Indies made 297.
West Indies resumed with their third-day wrecker, Kyle Mayers, at one end, and the quicker options of Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph alternating at the other, but Leach and Woakes watched the ball carefully and played within themselves to add 13 runs in a sedate first 40 minutes.
wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua da Silva who was named man of the match for his undefeated 100 in West Indies’ first innings.
All-rounder Kyle Mayers starred in the demolition of the England second innings with impressive figures of 5-18.
“I always wanted to take a five-wicket haul. From my first tour to Bangladesh, I got no wickets and Jermaine Blackwood was teasing me [saying] ‘I have more Test wickets than you,” Mayers said.
“And then we came to the Caribbean and I finally got my first wicket and it just went on. I started taking some ‘three fers’ than the five came and not a better moment than this.
“I really appreciate this one, especially in this position now in the series and getting my team across the line. I always cherished winning games so this one is pretty special.” he added
Mayers missed out on the first two Tests in Antigua and Barbados which finished in stalemates but made an immediate impact in the current match.
On Saturday, he struck with only his third ball, getting the wicket of Root again and then running through England’s top order.
“I have a knack for getting captains out – [fortunately] I’ve now got him out twice. Sorry for him but I’m happy for it,” Mayers said.
“I’ve been getting wickets. People in the Caribbean have been calling me the ‘Golden Arm Boy’, just coming on and getting some breakthroughs.
“Obviously the captain (Brathwaite) is now giving me more confidence and [I’m] bowling more overs and actually I’m getting to bowl a little earlier, so it’s just working out.
“My first class stats speak for themselves. I’m a pretty good first class bowler so there’s no doubt I’m capable of getting wickets.”
Mayers’s Test debut was an astounding one, the Barbadian hitting an unbeaten 210 on the last day of the first Test in Chattogram in a three-wicket win over Bangladesh, which paved the way for a 2-0 series win.
And while his career has fluctuated since he averages 35 from 10 Tests Mayers said he was content to play any role he could in helping West Indies win matches.
“Obviously I like batting more so I felt better in Bangladesh but putting in a performance for the team to win is always special for me even if it was two run outs or two catches, I would feel good. I prefer to score more runs than take wickets but I’ll take this,” he said.
“Actually not getting to play the first few just because of how the team was structured I just waited my turn and opportunity presented itself in this game and I took it.”