How long did the West Indies take to win their first Test match?
West Indies ruled world cricket between the late 1970s and mid 1990s when they hardly lost anything, but their start was far from it.
The team played their first test match against England at the iconic stadium of Lord’s and lost by a massive margin of an innings and 58 runs.
In their maiden test, England batted first and posted a total in excess of 400 on the back of a century from George Tyldesley who made 122, and in effect added more than 30% of the team’s runs in the innings.
Learie Constantine was the best bowler for West Indies in the match and picked up 4 wickets while conceding 82 runs from his 26.4 overs. Frank Martin was the top scorer for West Indies with 44 runs. Robert Nunes also scored 47.
In their second innings, Joseph Small was their highest scorer with 52 runs. Cyril Browne also made 44. As a result, West Indies lost the match by an innings – quite an acceptable result in your first test match.
The next match was held at Old Trafford when the Windies suffered another innings defeat, losing by an innings and 30 runs. In the third match of their first test series in 1928 played at Kennington Oval, the team lost by an innings and 71 runs.
They registered their first ever draw against England in their 4th test match which was played in 1930 against England at the Kensington Oval. This was the first time that West Indies played a test match on home soil and having a good idea of the home conditions certainly helped in the team managing a draw.
However, the next match of the series in 1930 did not go their way. The match was played at the Queen’s Park Oval which England won by 167 runs.
West Indies came back all guns blazing in the next match played in Barbados to register a massive victory by 289 runs. For a cricketing nation which had just five test matches under their belt, registering a victory and that too a comprehensive one against England was surely a big feat and one that the country continues to cherish till now.
The fourth and the last match of the series at the Savannah Park was drawn again as the series ended at 1-1 with West Indies succeeding in not losing just their second test series, which is not something most teams manage.