Leeds - West Indies captain Jason Holder said he had never
lost belief in his side after they vindicated his faith with a stunning
five-wicket win over England in the second Test at Headingley.
The West Indies chased down a seemingly tough target of 322
with more than four overs to spare on Tuesday's final day.
Shai Hope led the way with 118 not out as the West Indies
won a Test in England for the first time in 17 years.
None of Hope's previous 11 Tests had yielded a hundred.
But this match saw the 23-year-old Barbados batsman score
two, with Tuesday's knock following his first-innings 147.
Opener Kraigg Brathwaite fell just five runs short of also
scoring twin hundreds at Headingley, combining with Hope for two partnerships
worth 390 runs in total, including a key stand of 144 on Tuesday.
The West Indies will now head to Lord's for next week's
third Test all square at 1-1 in the three-match series following a win made all
the more remarkable by their humiliating innings and 209-run defeat in the
first Test at Edgbaston.
That inept display prompted West Indies great Curtly Ambrose
to label the current side "embarrassing" and "pathetic".
"It feels really good, especially after the game in
Edgbaston, it was a tough loss," Holder told reporters after an
astonishing fifth day in Leeds.
"A lot of teams would have crumbled coming back into
the second Test match and probably would not have given England the fight that
we gave them," the towering all-rounder added.
"I said at the beginning of this Test match that I back
these guys to rebound and there was no better way to do it."
The aptly-named Hope, the first batsman to score two
hundreds in both innings in 127 years of first-class cricket at Headingley, was
proud to have played his part in a morale-boosting success.
"It was mainly about winning the game, especially after
the loss at Edgbaston.
"Knowing how much the fellas really wanted this win,
you could see the fight and belief in the dressing room on the faces of the
guys," added Hope, the first West Indies batsman since Gordon Greenidge at
Old Trafford in 1976 to score hundreds in both innings of a Test in England.
When Joe Root declared England's second innings on 490 for
eight late on Monday, allowing his bowlers to have six overs before stumps on
the fourth day, few pundits thought he had made a major mistake on his
Yorkshire home ground.
And Root, set to lead England in their Ashes defence in
Australia later this year, insisted this experience would not stop him
declaring again in similar circumstances.
"I don't think it will," he said. "The
declaration might not have been timed right but I thought it was a positive
thing to do, we're a side that want to go out there and win Test matches."
Both sides dropped several catches each, with England's
missed chances ultimately proving the more costly.
"We have to be better, we know that taking early
wickets and taking opportunities to put sides under pressure is a massive part
in winning Test matches," said Root.
If he needed a consoling word, Root could perhaps turn to
former England captain David Gower. In 1984, Gower's final-day declaration left
the West Indies needing 342 to win a Test at Lord's.
Yet they got them for the loss of just one wicket as
outstanding Barbados opener Greenidge, with an unbeaten 214, and the
under-rated Larry Gomes (92 not out) made a mockery of Gower's move.
It was a match referenced by West Indies bowling coach Roddy
Estwick after stumps in Leeds on Monday.
"I remember in 1984, we were set 300-odd and Gordon
Greenidge got 200-odd and we won that Test match. So hopefully tomorrow the
boys can come out and go well."
And go well they did.