Moments in Time: Celebrating captain fantastic, the last time Holder dominated England

Jason Holder has been captain of the West Indies in one form of the game or another since 2014 when a Cricket West Indies selection panel led by former captain Clive Lloyd selected him at just 23 years old.

The decision was controversial and the young cricketer has had to prove himself over and over, eventually losing his captaincy in the West Indies One-Day International and T20 teams.

In the Test arena though, Holder has reigned supreme, becoming the number-one Test allrounder in the world and just today, moved up to number two among pace bowlers after his seven-wicket match haul during the first #RaiseTheBat Test against England at the Ageas Bowl, which concluded with a four-wicket West Indies victory on Sunday.

Holder’s contribution to that Test win was noticeable and took me back to another performance from Holder of real worth, against the same opposition.

In 2019, the West Indies, courtesy of a 2-1 Test series win in the Caribbean against England, earned the Wisden Trophy which they are now in England attempting to defend.

In that series, the West indies also took a 1-0 series lead, with Holder also playing a leading role.

Batting first, the West Indies, despite 81 from Shimron Hetmyer and 54 from Roston Chase, only managed to score 289 against the bowling of James Anderson, 5-46, and Ben Stokes, 4-59.

But England were terrible with the bat, going bowled out for 77 thanks to Kemar Roach, 5-17, Holder, 2-15, and Alzarri Joseph, 2-20.

England, despite the failure, looked like they could still get a target they could chase and a way back into the Test after Kraigg Brathwaite, 24, and John Campbell, 33, were the only scores of note in the West Indies’ top order.

Hetmyer, batting at six, scored 31 but lost the plot to leave the West Indies 120-6.

The West Indies ended day two, 127-6, with Shane Dowrich unbeaten on 27 and Holder on 7.

The lead was 339 but with three days of cricket to play, the hosts certainly needed a bigger total to ensure they couldn’t lose the match.

Holder had only scored five in the first innings but on the third morning, he was a different man.

His determination to push the West Indies advantage was notable. The first session of the day was, in a word, sedate, as the side looked to bat time and leave themselves with a much bigger target than they currently had.

Then Holder began the counter-attack.

That counter-attack would end with the six foot, seven inch West Indies leader unbeaten on 202.

He would slam eight sixes in an entertaining knock that did more than just seal the West Indies’ victory but also cemented Holder’s place as one of the premier allrounders in the game today.

Batting with Holder was the perfect foil. Shane Dowrich would also get to an unbeaten century, scoring 116, but his innings was dwarfed by an example of controlled hitting that left Holder as just the third batsman in the history of the game to score a double century while batting eight or lower.

When Holder thumped Keaton Jennings to the boundary for four to bring up his double century, before immediately declaring, with the West Indies 627 runs to the good, he did two things.

He built belief in himself as a genuine allrounder, as well as showed the West Indies, in the way only a captain can, they could beat anybody.

The resultant performance with the ball where Roston Chase bagged 8-60, restricting England to 246, completing a 381-run victory inside four days, was a sign of that belief.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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