After securing a victory over England in the 1st Test, West Indies captain Jason Holder said that this win would go down as one of the best for this current West Indies Cricket team.
In the post match press conference, Holder, who was out in the middle when the winning runs were hit, said, “One of our best victories. Yesterday was the best day I had in Test cricket. All the bowlers toiled hard yesterday, and it was a hard-fought day of Test cricket. I don’t think any team knew. We had been sitting at home doing nothing. We had time to prepare, but you never know.”
West Indies were in trouble at 27/3 chasing 200, having lost their top order to a fiery spell of bowling by Jofra Archer, plus John Campbell had retired hurt after a blow to the toe, but then Jermaine Blackwood came in and played one of his most responsible knocks. He fell just short of his hundred, by 5 runs, but earned high praise from his skipper. Holder said, “It would have been difficult to push for a win if we didn’t bowl extremely well on a flat pitch. Blackwood was outstanding. Disappointing to see him get out on 95 but that’s how he plays. Jermaine always tries and is never short on effort, and today was his big moment.”
About John Campbell’s injury, this is what Holder, who took a career best 6/42 in the first innings, said, “John took a blow today, but hopefully he will come through. We knew what was at stake yesterday evening. We knew we had 98 overs, and we had to go to 7 PM. Alzarri and I thought we would bowl till 6:30 and the other two would take over.”
Holder said, “It was a long hard toil and a hard-fought day for West Indies, and a day that definitely went in our favour at the back end. The reason I say that it was the best day for me is down to the fact that every single time I asked for effort from those bowlers, no one said: no, I can’t, I’m too tired. They just all kept running in. At that stage when Stokesy and Zak [Crawley] were batting, the game started to look a little bit less likely for us to win. We knew we couldn’t lose, we backed ourselves not to lose, but we wanted to win the game, and we knew how important it was for us to win. Yesterday’s effort (4th day) was by far the best effort I’ve seen from this group. And not only the bowlers, the fielders kept running round, getting through the overs, and we all kept our energy up right throughout the day.”
Holder said that he sensed ‘something special’ was around the corner when Stokes and Crawley were dismissed in succession at a crucial moment in the Test match. He said, “We’ve had so many dark days in the past that we understand moments in the game that we need to seize. If we wanted to win the game, we had to break the partnership. I was fortunate to come on and to get Stokesy out, then Alzarri got Zak caught-and-bowled and that was a very sharp chance. When those two wickets fell, I knew we were in for something special, but it was just a case of us executing again. Then we got Jos (Buttler) and at the very end we were able to get Dom Bess who was a little bit annoying in the first innings.”