Winning the third Test and avoiding a whitewash against West Indies represented a "step forward" for England, according to captain Joe Root.

England were comfortably beaten by 381 runs in the first match of the series before a hapless display in Antigua saw the tourists go down by 10 wickets.

In St Lucia, a 125-run first-innings stand from Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes was followed by a stunning five-for from Mark Wood, before Root's century set the Windies a hefty target of 485 for a whitewash.

Roston Chase made a gritty hundred to keep their hopes alive, but he received minimal support as the hosts went down by 232 runs on Tuesday.

"It was important we played well this week. It should be a real confidence-booster going into an exciting summer for us," said Root.

"West Indies deserved to win the series, they outplayed us in the first two games, but it's a real step forward for this team to perform like we did this week.

"I thought we played some good cricket. In that first innings we managed to find a way to ride out some difficult moments in bowler-friendly conditions and then we got up to a good score. Then the bowlers got us on top and we went from there.

"We played better, that's important, we've got a fantastic squad, but over the next couple of years you'll see a huge amount of improvement."

Windies captain Jason Holder was suspended for the final match and had no doubt that, despite claiming a 2-1 series victory, the team can get better.

"It was disappointing the way we played in the last Test but there are still a few positives to write home about. Credit to the boys - although we lost this match we played a pretty good series. We still have a lot of improvements to make but lots of positive coming out of the series," said Holder.

"We have to keep improving in all three facets of the game - we've got to be clinical and be a lot more consistent than we have been in the past.

"Credit to our bowling unit, I think our bowlers have been outstanding and we just need our batters to come to the party more often than not.

"[The win is] important in a few contexts. It counts in the ICC rankings, counts for the morale of the side as well.

"We need to continue to build and improve as a side, not just rest on our laurels and think we've achieved something. We're still pretty low in the rankings and our goal is to be number one in the world, so there's definitely a lot to improve on and put right and a lot of positives we need to keep within in the team."

Kraigg Brathwaite will be happy to seek the advice of suspended captain Jason Holder when he leads West Indies against England in the third and final Test.

Holder was banned for one game due to a slow over rate during the 10-wicket success in the second Test in Antigua - a result which secured the Windies' series victory.

Brathwaite is the man to step up in the skipper's absence but the opening batsman expects Holder to remain an influential presence within the home dressing room in St Lucia.

"Of course, he's the leader of the group. His voice will be crucial for us," Brathwaite told reporters ahead of the Test starting on Saturday.

"He'll still be there, we are a family and we'll support each and every one. It'll be the same, obviously I'm captain for this game but he'll be around."

And Brathwaite is all too aware that the Windies can ill-afford to be slow in bowling their overs.

"We have to do that, we can't keep being behind and losing our captain so it's something we have a plan for and we can't let it happen again.

"I wouldn't say it's [just] Shan [fast bowler Shannon Gabriel], as a team all the fielders can get around faster, we have to improve on it."

Asked what sort of statement a 3-0 scoreline would send around the world, Brathwaite replied: "[That] West Indies cricket is strong.

"We're aiming for consistency. We won the series and we're aiming to win the third [Test], we need to be consistent - that's one of the main things for us."

On the eve of the third and final Test against England, fast bowler Shannon Gabriel is hoping for a bounty of wickets on a St. Lucia pitch that has been good to him in the past.

Windies captain Jason Holder is hoping an upcoming stint with English county club Northamptonshire will help with his acclimatization ahead of the ICC World Cup.

The 27-year-old regional team skipper, rated as the best all-rounder in the world, recently signed with the club for part of the 2019 season.  Holder will take part in the team’s first two County Championship matches and the first six Royal London One-Day Cup games.

Holder expressed delight at being able to join the English club and looks forward to experiencing the conditions of English cricket.

“I'm hopeful, from a personal point, that it will provide me a good opportunity of acclimatising to English conditions and getting some time in the middle ahead of the World Cup in England, and I'm grateful to Northamptonshire for the opportunity which I am really looking forward to,” Holder said.

“England is somewhere I've wanted to play for a long time and I'm looking forward to the experience of county cricket and testing myself in the different conditions,” he added.

“Northamptonshire has a reputation of being a good club to be a part of, with a tight-knit squad and coaches who want to get the best out of their players.”

 

The Windies ODI squad for the first two upcoming matches against England starting February 20, has been bolstered by the recall of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis.

Windies captain Jason Holder has climbed into the top 10 of the MRF Tyres Test Player Rankings following the completion of the Test against England in Antigua last Saturday.

Jason Holder's suspension for a slow over-rate has been labelled "punitive" by Cricket West Indies president David Cameron.

West Indies captain Holder guided his team to a superb Test series win over England with a match to spare, having secured a 10-wicket hammering in the second game in Antigua.

However, he will not play in the series finale against Joe Root's men in St Lucia, which starts on Saturday, having been sanctioned by the ICC.

The Windies were two overs short of their over-rate target, which led to Holder receiving a one-match ban and a 40 per cent fine of his match fee.

But Cameron believes the punishment handed to Holder, who was found guilty of a minor over-rate offence during the Barbados Test against Sri Lanka last year, sends out the wrong message.

"We will, of course, abide by the ICC ruling, but we have to wonder if such punitive action at a pivotal stage of the series is good for cricket," Cameron said. 

"What a shame if the series is remembered not for the sparkling play of the reinvigorated West Indies players but for a crippling decision made by a rule that ought to be modified.

"Jason now has the opportunity to benefit from resting his body over the period of the next Test and be well prepared for the upcoming ODI series against England which begins on February 20."

Holder has made 229 runs in the series thus far, including an unbeaten double century in the first Test, while the all-rounder has also taken seven wickets.

Leeward Islands Cricket Board COO, Vernon Springer, believes Keemo Paul is the natural replacement for Jason Holder.

Windies captain, Jason Holder, has been suspended for the final Test against the touring England. Holder was suspended for having a slow overrate in the second Test, even though the game ended within three days. Is there a ploy to help England avoid a whitewash?

West Indies will be without Jason Holder for the third and final Test against England after their captain was handed a one-match ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Holder's side recorded a crushing 10-wicket victory in the second Test to wrap up the series, but the skipper has been punished for a slow over-rate in Antigua.

The Windies were two overs short of their target, so Holder will play no part when they attempt to pull off a whitewash in St Lucia and the all-rounder has also been fined 40 per cent of his match fee.

Holder's team-mates were docked 20 per cent of their match fees by the ICC.

The captain was also found guilty of a minor over-rate offence during the Barbados Test against Sri Lanka last year.

Holder has played a huge part in the Windies' triumph over England, making a first Test double century at the Kensington Oval to claim the man of the match award and also impressing with the ball, while leading the side so impressively.

Vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite is expected to lead the team in Holder's absence, having done so in two Tests against Bangladesh last year while the 27-year-old was injured.

The final Test of the series gets under way on Saturday.

Windies captain Jason Holder has pointed to a newfound hunger in the team as a key component to success, following an unexpected but dominant series win over England.

The regional team regained the Wisden trophy on the back of a 10-wicket win over the British, the world number three ranked team, on Saturday in Antigua.  The result followed on the back of a 381-run win in Barbados, where Holder had a major contribution with a sparkling double century.

 The results marked the first Test series win over England since 2009 and their first against a side other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since 2012.  Perhaps even more than the result was the determined, disciplined and gusty approach that the team took in securing the victory.

“We are hungry.  We are hungry for success,” was Holder’s assessment.

“This group has been together for a year and a half to two years and we have been doing some exceptional things.  Credit to the boys for sticking to the task.  I think it’s something we really wanted.  Obviously last year the way we ended was kind of down as well, it was a bit disappointing and everybody wanted to turn things around,” he added.

“After the tour of Bangladesh it wasn’t there but the guys really had a long hard talk in the dressing room.  We wanted to get some honesty in the dressing room…so credit to the boys.”  

Jason Holder said West Indies were determined to seal a Test series win over England for Alzarri Joseph's mother, who died before play got under way on Saturday. 

Kemar Roach and Jason Holder took four wickets apiece as the magnificent West Indies tore through brittle England yet again to seal a crushing, series-clinching 10-wicket victory on day three in Antigua. 

West Indies dug in on a testing pitch to open up a potentially series-winning lead on day two of the second Test against England in Antigua.

Kraigg Brathwaite (49), John Campbell (47) and Shai Hope (44) made contributions at the top of the order on a North Sound track with such variable bounce.

Darren Bravo dropped anchor to frustrate the tourists with a patient unbeaten 33 from 165 deliveries and Jason Holder was still there on 19 when the Windies closed on 272-6 - leading by 85 runs.

The excellent Stuart Broad was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-42 from 28 overs after having no luck in the opening session, with Jos Buttler dropping a simple chance to remove John Campbell.

England, who had Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps with Ben Foakes sent for an X-ray on his right hand, will have to produce something special to keep the series alive after toiling on a warm Friday.

Broad was desperately unfortunate to see a miserly, probing morning spell go without reward as Campbell survived a DRS appeal for caught behind, before Buttler dropped a regulation chance offered by the West Indies opener at third slip.

Campbell made the most of those and other slices of good fortune to strike some confident blows through the covers on his way to 47, but Buttler partially atoned for his earlier error, with Ben Stokes the beneficiary.

That was England's only breakthrough before lunch, as Brathwaite's opening stand of 70 with Campbell and an additional 63 alongside Hope for the second wicket placed a sizable dent in the tourists' first-innings total of 187.

But Brathwaite and Hope also fell just short of half-centuries – Moeen Ali (2-54) having the former caught at short leg by substitute Keaton Jennings.

Broad then deployed leg-cutters to fine effect, seeing Hope caught at the wicket and uprooting Roston Chase's off stump in the same over with one that kept wickedly low.

James Anderson was furious when Rory Burns grassed Shimron Hetmyer at extra cover off his bowling and had barely calmed down when he superbly caught the dangerous batsman in the deep off Moeen for 21.

West Indies were a run behind and five down at that stage and Bravo and first-Test centurion Shane Dowrich rode their luck in getting through to tea.

It was Broad who ended a 50-run stand to reduce the Windies to 236-6, a brute of a delivery rapping Dowrich (31) on the gloves and looping to Buttler in the slips, before England wasted a review when Bravo was struck on the pad by Stokes.

The watchful Bravo and Holder stood firm as England continued to probe without further reward, leaving the Windies in a strong position at stumps.

Page 4 of 8
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.