The West Indies won a Test – and they were away.
The West Indian batting is still woefully fragile. Their fielding, while far-improved in this match, will surely take a good while longer to repair from what we’ve seen in the past – progress can only ever be so fast. Their seam bowling, however, really isn’t bad at all.
Long-term readers will know that we’ve rated Fidel Edwards for quite a while; Daren Powell’s been sending the ball where he intends it of late; Jerome Taylor’s quick and increasingly reliable; and Dwayne Bravo’s bowling record is totally unflattering and misleading. Oh and they’ve got a fifth seam bowler, Darren Sammy, who’s taken seven wickets in a Test innings before now. Handy back-up.
In truth, the Windies caught South Africa overconfident and, in the parlance of modern sport, undercooked – a number of the side had been granted overlong rests right up until this match. South Africa are unlikely to be so accommodating again.
Even so, the Windies don’t get away wins very often and maybe now they know what it’s like, they might make a bit more effort to do it again. Maybe the Chris Gayle era will be one characterised by professionalism, determination, effort and responsibility. Wouldn’t that be an irony tastier than the best of Christmas leftovers?