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From the First Ball, Ben Stokes Tried to Distract Me: Jermaine Blackwood

One of the architects of West Indies' opening Test victory, batsman Jermaine Blackwood said England tried to verbally distract him

PTI |July 15, 2020, 5:29 PM IST
From the First Ball, Ben Stokes Tried to Distract Me: Jermaine Blackwood

One of the architects of West Indies' opening Test victory, batsman Jermaine Blackwood said England tried to verbally distract him during his match-winning innings of 95 with stand-in skipper Ben Stokes leading the act.

Blackwood's fighting 95 helped West Indies chase down the 200-run target and claim a four-wicket win in the first Test at Southampton and take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series.

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"From the first ball the captain Ben Stokes was in my ear. I think they were trying to get me to play a rash shot but it didn't faze me at any point. Once I was at the crease they were the ones under pressure, not me," Blackwood was quoted as saying by 'Wisden'.

"They knew they couldn't bowl a loose ball at me. I can't remember what was said but it was nothing bad. That's cricket. You'll always hear a bit of talking and that's how it should be played."

The West Indies were reduced to 27-3 inside 12 overs but Blackwood stitched two important stands with Roston Chase and Shane Downrich to keep his team in the hunt on the final day.

Blackwood was dismissed with West Indies needing just 11 runs to win. He had hit a James Anderson delivery straight to mid-off to end up five runs short of what would have been a well-deserved century.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons praised Blackwood for holding his nerves throughout the innings.

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"I didn't realise England were doing that but it's what I would have done too to try to get him (Blackwood) irrational," Simmons said.

"But he held his own and played the situation as well as he could. That shows his mindset is improving."

The second Test begins at the Old Trafford on Thursday.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3760 104
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5093 127
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 South Africa 3345 108
5 Australia 3518 107
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Australia 5285 278
2 England 4564 268
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 5470 260
5 South Africa 4380 258
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