Holder hails Headingley win as just reward for West Indies
Jason Holder believes West Indies showed their true colours in producing an inspired all-round performance to beat England by five wickets at Headingley and level the three-Test series.
Victory in Leeds was just the Windies' second away Test win in five years and was highlighted by Shai Hope scoring hundreds in both innings - a unique feat in first-class cricket at Headingley.
After limiting England to 258 all out in their first innings - Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel taking four wickets apiece - West Indies kept their noses in front for the most part and a decisive 144-run partnership between Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite on the final day followed their 246-run union in the first innings.
Despite his side's struggles in the longest format in recent years, Holder believed such performances were always within West Indies capabilities, and hailed the victory as just rewards for some previously unheralded toil.
"I always believe in this group, we've done decent things in the last months but results haven't gone our way," he said.
"We've done outstanding things, it's just about putting it together more often than not as a collective unit.
"I woke up this morning and sent a text in our team chat and told the guys to believe, just go and believe and execute our plans."
On the nerves that his team faced as Hope and Jermaine Blackwood put victory in reach, Holder added: "We urged that nobody move from their seats!
"Everybody was stuck to their seats, and everybody was cheering every run. It was nerve-wracking with Jermaine at the end but that's the way he plays, a lot of credit must go to him for still being as brave as he was and playing that way.
"Shai Hope was just outstanding, to come out in the first innings and score his maiden Test century.
Well done! pic.twitter.com/Tqfw9YCKxM— CricketWestIndies (@westindies) August 29, 2017
"In the last game, I asked him if he remembers what it feels like to score a Test century and he said he's never done it. So when he came out here and scored the first one I told him to remember it and he came out and scored his second one so a lot of credit must go to him.
"I must not forget Kraigg Brathwaite, outstanding again. I'm extremely proud of these two guys, they worked very hard and it's paying off.
"It's nothing that I didn't expect from them. It's just about delivering on the big stage and no better time [than] to come to England and do it."