International cricket made an entertaining return at Southampton as England and West Indies faced off in the first Test of the 3-match series. After Day 1 was marred by rain, the weather relented to allow a result in the last session of Day 5.
Riding on Jermaine Blackwood's confident 95, the Windies managed to hold on against a late English charge to claim a 4-wicket victory in their chase of 200. The win got West Indies off the mark on the ICC Test Championship points table, and they proved that their remarkable chase against the same opposition at Headingley a few years ago was not a one-off.
Ben Stokes' first assignment as England captain didn't go to plan, with more than one of his decisions coming under the scanner. His counterpart Jason Holder, on the other hand, rarely put a foot wrong in West Indies' gritty win.
In this article, we take a look at the 5 major talking points from the 1st Test between England and West Indies.
#5 Umpiring decisions cast a cloud over the return of cricket
Coming into the first Test, the ICC declared that it would be imprudent to fly in umpires and appointed two English umpires for the game. Teams were even granted 3 reviews instead of the usual 2, in an attempt to level the scales.
Unfortunately, this decision has backfired, with many questionable decisions made over the course of the Test match, especially against the West Indies.
Jason Holder had to call for as many as 3 reviews in the first innings, with 2 of the decisions overturned. In the tourists' first innings, John Campbell was given out on-field twice and reviews saved him on both occasions. Another poor decision in the Windies' chase led us to question whether the umpires were in fact impartial.
Needless to say, Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough weren't at the top of their game and the umpiring will be in focus for the rest of the series.