'I believe this is the start' – Brathwaite expectant after series win over England

By Sports Desk March 27, 2022

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite believes his team is just getting started after clinching a series win against England in Grenada.

Following two draws in the first couple of Tests, a superb performance from the hosts on day three and day four overwhelmed the tourists and led to a 10-wicket victory to take the series 1-0.

England recovered from 90-8 to 204 in the first innings of the third and final Test but were never ahead in the game as Brathwaite's side took a first-innings lead of 93, before bowling England out for just 120 in their second.

That left Brathwaite and opening partner John Campbell to secure victory as they required less than five overs to chase down 28 on Sunday, condemning England to a fifth consecutive series defeat.

England have won just one of their last 17 Tests and are winless in nine red-ball outings, their longest such streak in the format since a run of 10 between August 2013 and July 2014.

The West Indies have still lost only once to England at home in Test cricket since 1968, with that solitary defeat coming in 2004.

"Very proud," Brathwaite said of his players after sealing the win. "My first home series win, so very happy.

"It was a very, very good series for us. In two hard-fought draws in the first two games I thought England played extremely well and we had to show some fight in the last days of both of those games. But coming here, we ramped it up. It's been a remarkable effort."

The 29-year-old had a strong series, top scoring with 341 runs to his name at an average of 85.25.

It was a team effort, though, and notable how several of the younger players stepped up in key moments, with Brathwaite name-checking Joshua Da Silva, who hit a century on day three to rescue his side's innings; Jayden Seales, who took 11 wickets in the series (joint-most with Kemar Roach and England's Jack Leach); and Alzarri Joseph, the taker of 10 wickets.

"I believe this is the start," he said. "But we can't become complacent. We have got to keep learning, keep improving.

"That is one thing with the youngsters in the team – Joshua, Jayden, Alzarri – they are willing to listen. That is the only way to get better. Jason Holder and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood really leading the way, and the guys learnt a lot on the job.

"I think it's the start and we have to continue to work hard."

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    Kevin Wickham provided excellent support for his skipper with 63, his second half-century of the season along with a hundred in round one against the CCC. His knock lasted 92 balls and included six fours.

    Former West Indies wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich was the other not out batsman at stumps with 19.

    Derval Green has so far taken 2-38 from 19 overs for the Scorpions.

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  • Jamie George takes inspiration from his late mother for Scotland clash Jamie George takes inspiration from his late mother for Scotland clash

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    “My mum was the biggest rugby fan on earth, she loved this team, loved watching me play, she never missed a game.

    “The text I’ve got from her before my first game as captain is something I will treasure forever. She said it was the proudest day of her life so given what she was going through, to still be able to put a smile on her face was huge.”

    George was adamant he did not want to excuse himself from England duty. He turned up on the Friday after his mum’s death to participate in an open training session at Twickenham and had no doubt in his mind that he wanted to lead his team into battle with Scotland.

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    “Taking time off is the last thing she would have wanted me to do,” said George. “It’s not what I wanted to do.

    “I feel very privileged to do what I do and hopefully the boys will agree that I’ve been able to fulfil my role as captain and fulfil my role as a player in this team.

    “It’s not an ideal situation to be in, but there was never any doubt in my mind that I wanted to be involved in this game.

    “Wherever she is now, she will be looking down telling everyone that is there that her son is the England captain. I know for a fact that meant a huge amount to her.

    “Whenever I’ve played, I’ve always wanted to make my family proud. It’s been a huge driver for me. That won’t change this weekend – it will probably be enhanced this weekend.

    “It will be emotional for me coming out. It will be the first game that she won’t be there. She wasn’t able to come to the first two games to watch, which has been tough in itself, but before that she was always there, she never missed it.

    “My dad, my uncle, my cousin and both brothers are coming up this weekend. It’s going to be great for them to be able to be there. It’s amazing what rugby can do in situations like this.

    “When I first became captain, I spoke a lot about showing how much it means to play for England and what an amazing impact you can have on people’s lives.

    “I have seen it first-hand because my mum was on her death bed talking about the England rugby team and how proud she was of me being able to do what I do.

    “That’s absolutely incredible. She will be with me in some capacity on Saturday and that means a huge amount to me.”

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