West Indies crush hapless England to clinch Richards-Botham trophy
England slumped to a chastening 10-wicket defeat on the fourth day of the third Test to lose their series against West Indies 1-0.
After a dismal third day, they began 103-8, leading by just 10, and the hosts claimed the final two wickets within the first hour to have them all out for 120.
Victory in Grenada came just 30 minutes later, leaving a sorry England at one of the lowest points in recent memory.
West Indies cantered to their target of 28 inside five overs to clinch the Richards-Botham trophy.
England have now lost four Test series in a row – five if the unfinished India series which Joe Root’s side trail 2-1 is included – and are winless in nine matches.
The defeat, which comes on the back of a humiliating 4-0 Ashes loss, leaves England bottom of the World Test Championship table and looks set to reignite intense debate about the state of the men’s Test team.
England in crisis
Not since the 2013-14 Ashes capitulation, and the break-up of a team that followed, have England gone as many Tests without a win.
They have also won just one of 17 Tests going back to February last year – and not had such a poor run since the 1980s.
The result was all-but certain after England collapsed a day earlier in their second innings and the formalities were completed in less than 90 minutes of play.
Prior to this series England, one of the best white-ball teams in the world, talked of a ‘red-ball reset’ and a wish to refocus on the longest format following the Ashes debacle.
There were flashes of promise in the first two Tests – a century for Zak Crawley, runs for Dan Lawrence, Ben Stokes’ return to form and Saqib Mahmood’s encouraging debut. But their dismal display has their rebirth in tatters.
England next play a Test in June, at home against New Zealand, where they will hope to have appointed a new managing director and head coach, while captain Root’s position will also come into question.
More home comfort for West Indies
Victory for West Indies maintains their proud home record against England, with just one series loss against England in the Caribbean since 1968.
They outplayed Root’s side in this deciding Test, having been on the back foot in the previous two matches.
Even in the brief period on the fourth morning there was time for a moment of West Indies magic.
After 40 minutes without a wicket, Jason Holder produced a brilliant one-handed reaction catch at leg slip to dismiss Chris Woakes for 19. Jack Leach edged behind in the next over – both wickets falling to seamer Kemar Roach.
The hosts celebrated with a lap of honour when the result was finalise