May 20, 2020 Sports
Guyana’s Captain Leon Johnson became a part of history when he scored 66 and 41 in St Lucia on debut in the second Test against Bangladesh on September 13-16, 2014.
Johnson became 300th West Indian to play Test cricket in the 500th Test played by West Indies since their first in England in 1928.
The then 27-year-old Guyanese had recently scored four half-centuries in the ‘A’ team series against Bangladesh ‘A’ to earn him a place in the Test squad for the second Test against New Zealand in Trinidad but he failed to make the final XI as Jamaican Jermaine Blackwood was given his debut.
Johnson became the 48th Guyanese to play Test cricket and the first since Veerasammy Permaul made his debut against Bangladesh in 2012.
West Indies, led by an unbeaten 84 in the first innings and 101 not out in the second from Man-of-the–Match Shiv Chanderpaul and 5-42 in the first innings by Kemar Roach and 5-72 in the second from Sulieman Benn, won by 296 runs to take the Two-Test series, 2-nil.
Sent to bat on a track with a tinge of grass at the Beausejour Stadium, (now named after former West Indies Captain Daren Sammy), Johnson, asked to open the batting, shared in 143 runs opening stand with Kraigg Braithwaite (63).
Johnson, who had scored all of his runs for Guyana batting in the middle, reached his fifty with an array of attractive shots but
when on 66 with the score on 145 he was rapped on his pad by Taijul Islam and surprisingly opted not ask for a revive, which showed the ball would have missed the wicket as the left-hander gave away a possible century on debut. Daren Bravo’s 46 and Chanderpaul unbeaten innings helped the hosts to 380.
Despite 53 from Mahmudulla, Roach dismantled Bangladesh for 161 before another solid opening partnership between Braithwaite (45) and Johnson (41) and his second undefeated innings of the game from Chanderpaul helped West Indies declare at 269-4.
Left-arm spinner Benn had 5-72 as Bangladesh fell for 192 as only Tamim Iqbal with 64 offered fight as West Indies, who won the first Test in St Vincent by 10 wickets, took the series 2-nil.
On June 23, 1928 at Lords, West Indies made its entry to the Test arena and lost the 3-Test series to England 3-0 in England.
It was not until the third Test of the 1929/30 series at Bourda in British Guiana that the West Indies won their first Test match by beating England.
West Indies has now played 545 Tests, winning 174, losing 195 with 175 ending in draws and one; the first ever Tied Test in Australia, ending in a tie.
West Indies had played their first 100 Tests between June 1928 and March 1965 and had won 36 and lost 31 with 31 games ending in draws.
The next 100 Test were played between March 1965 and August 1980 with them winning 28, losing 25 and drawing 47.
Their 201st test to their 300thwere contested during the period of November 1980 and December 1993 when West Indies dominated world winning 53, losing just 13 and drawing 34.
The invincible West Indies played for 15 years without losing as single Test series until 1995 in Jamaica Australia broke that remarkable streak when the Aussies took the Frank Worrell Trophy 2-1 in the four Test series.
From then West Indies win/loss ratio became progressively worse since in their 301st and 400th Test between February 1994 and November 2003 West Indies managed 30 wins, lost 44 times and Drew 29 matches.
In their last 100 matches West Indies have won only 17 Tests, lost 53 and drew 30 between November 2003 to June 2014.
Guyanese Clive Lloyd is the most successful West Indies Captain, winning 36 of his 74 matches as leader. Lloyd a belligerent bespectacled left-hander only lost 12 of the games he led his team in and drew 26.
Lloyd also led West Indies to the first two World Cup titles in 1975 &1979 and also to the 1983 final when India created the biggest upset in Sports at that time when Kapil Dev’s men beat the Mighty West Indies at Lords. Lloyd led the Regional team
Sir Vivian Richards, who was Captain from 1980-1991, is the only other person to lead the West Indies 50 times, winning 27, losing eight and drawing 15. The devastating Antiguan is the only West Indies Captain never to have lost a series.
Trinidadian Brian Lara, who has the most Test runs (11,912) and Test centuries (34) by a West Indian, is the only other player to captain the West Indies in more than 40 Test Matches. Lara who led the team from 1997-2006 (during three separate periods) was Captain in 47 of his 130 Tests but won just 10, lost 26 and drew 11.
Chanderpaul has played the most Test matches by a West Indian (164) and only Lara has more than his 11,499 Test runs, while Jamaican pacer Courtney Walsh has the Most Wickets by a West Indian (519) from 132 Test matches. (Sean Devers)
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