From first ball, England captain Ben Stokes tried to distract me: Jermaine Blackwood

Manchester, July 15

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

Blackwood’s combating 95 helped West Indies chase down the 200-run goal and declare a four-wicket win within the first Test at Southampton and take a 1-Zero lead within the three-match collection.

“From the first ball 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.”

Also learn: Extended preparations helped West Indies win in opposition to England: Coach Phil Simmons

The West Indies have been lowered to 27/three inside 12 overs however Blackwood stitched two vital stands with Roston Chase and Shane Downrich to maintain his crew within the hunt on the ultimate day.

Blackwood was dismissed with West Indies needing simply 11 runs to win. He had hit a James Anderson supply straight to mid-off to finish up 5 runs wanting what would have been a well-deserved century.

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

“I didn’t realise England were doing that but it’s what I would have done too to try to get him (Blackwood) irrational,” stated Simmons.

“But he held his own and played the situation as well as he could. That shows his mind-set is improving.”

The second Test begins on the Old Trafford on Thursday. PTI

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