Cricket world erupts over West Indies' 'time-wasting' reviews

Andrew Reid
·5-min read
Pictured here, Windies captain Jason Holder and one of his side's reviews against England.
The Windies have been panned over their comical reviews against England. Pic: Getty/Twitter

Cricket fans have lined up to take aim at the West Indies after they employed bizarre time-wasting tactics that ended up backfiring in the second Test against England.

Ben Stokes starred with bat and ball to help seal a 113-run win late on the final day, tying the three-match series at 1-1 and earning him the nickname "Mr. Incredible" by his captain.

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With England's star allrounder at the crease early on day five, the Windies decided to try and unsettle his and England's rhythm by attempting a seldom seen tactic in Test cricket.

Rather than chasing wickets or trying to minimise England's scoring rate, the Windies opted to try and slow the game down by burning through reviews.

It started in the 15th over off the opening session when Windies skipper Jason Holder challenged an LBW shout on Stokes that replays showed had pitched way outside the leg stump.

Holder again decided to review another incident in fast bowler Alzarri Joseph's next over that was pitching so far outside leg stump, even commentators were laughing at the thought of challenging it.

The Windies made it a third time unlucky in the 17th over when England batsman Ollie Pope survived an LBW shout with the help of ultra edge.

It meant that in the space of just 11 balls, the Windies had burned through all of their reviews.

Stokes ending up making their pay anyway after going into T20 mode to smash an unbeaten unbeaten 78 off 57 balls, before England declared with a 311-run lead and 85 overs left on the final day.

The Windies' time-wasting tactics were savaged by viewers on social media.

Ben Stokes leads England to superb win

Stokes followed up his brilliant performances with the bat, with a key contribution with the ball to seal England's series-equalling victory.

England's World Cup hero from last year made the huge breakthrough just before tea as Jermaine Blackwood (55) gloved a ball down the legside to diving wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, igniting England's charge to victory.

With 14.5 overs - or one hour - left of a Test played at an empty Old Trafford because of the coronavirus pandemic, the West Indies were dismissed for 198.

"Everyone understands that we are watching a player at the peak of his powers, at the peak of world cricket, who is delivering time and time again," England captain Joe Root said.

Seen here, Ben Stokes celebrates a wicket for England in the second Test against the West Indies.
Ben Stokes was exceptional with bat and ball for England. Pic: Getty

"He just seems to get better and better. I feel lucky, I don't know what else to say. We have to savour that, appreciate that, and we have to understand that we are - without wanting to pump his tires too much - in the presence of greatness."

Stokes has 343 runs already in this series, at 114.33, along with nine wickets heading into the third Test that starts on Friday and will also be in Manchester.

England wrapped up victory with big bowling performances over the last two days, after a full day - on Saturday - lost to rain in Manchester.

"I'm a little disappointed with the way we batted," West Indies captain Jason Holder said.

"It's all to play for. This is the perfect return to cricket."

This is the first series of international cricket since the return of the sport after a four-month shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

with AAP