West Indies pull off Headingley heist


West Indies produced a masterful chase to win a Test in England for the first time in 17 years with a five-wicket victory in a thrilling match.

The nerveless Shai Hope led them to their target of 322, becoming the first man to score a century in both innings of a first-class match at Headingley.

Opener Kraigg Brathwaite had earlier struck a superb 95 after being dropped by Alastair Cook on four. Aided by Jermaine Blackwood’s 41, Hope hit the winning runs to finish on 118.

Victory for the tourists – which looked unlikely at the start of day five, particularly given their heavy defeat in the first Test – ties the series at 1-1 before the decider at Lord’s from 7-11 September.

In scoring the 317 further runs they required on day five, West Indies completed the 20th highest successful fourth-innings chase in Test history, and third highest in England.

Hope springs eternal

Hope entered this Test with an average of 18 after 11 matches, but leaves it having set one of the most long-awaited records in cricket history – this was the 534th first-class match played at Headingley.

His 147 in the first innings was sublime. His second century, in the context of the match, was even better – a nerveless knock, filled with sweetly timed cover drives, deft clips off his legs and resolute defence.

This was not just a coming of age but a performance for the ages, the 23-year-old’s turnaround from his pained display at Edgbaston reflective of his side’s stirring comeback from the ignominy of losing 19 wickets in a day.

He and Brathwaite combined for 246 in the first innings, and put on 144 second time around, the opener more cagey but accumulating well as it seemed he would be first to the record, only to edge a tossed-up Moeen Ali delivery to Ben Stokes.

Significant damage had been done, though. Cook put down a chance he would routinely take 91 runs earlier, while Stuart Broad also dropped a tough caught-and-bowled opportunity with Brathwaite on 29.

The ball cannoned off Broad’s thigh to run out Hope’s brother Kyle for a duck at the non-striker’s end but, given what followed, England will have preferred Brathwaite to be the man walking off.

Substitute fielder Mason Crane took a stunning catch to remove Roston Chase for 30, and the irrepressible Blackwood was stumped chasing a big finish, but Hope and Braithwaite had ensured it was too late for an England rescue act. (BBC Sport)

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