England captain Andrew Strauss offered no excuses as his side were bowled out for 51, their third-lowest total ever, on the way to a humiliating innings and 23-run defeat against the West Indies on Saturday.
Strauss blamed his batsmen and believes there must be plenty of soul-searching if his side is to avoid another heavy defeat in the four-Test series which continues when the second Test starts on Thursday in Antigua.
“It’s very clear where we went wrong — our batting in the second innings was pretty poor — and there are no excuses for it,” Strauss told reporters after man of the match, strike bowler Jerome Taylor plundered 5-11 at Sabina Park.
Strauss rejected suggestions that there is still some underlying tension, following the removal of Peter Moores as coach and the resignation of Kevin Pietersen as captain.
“I just can’t believe for one moment that when you are out there in the middle and Jerome Taylor is running in to bowl at you, that you would be thinking about anything that happened before,” the new England skipper said.
West Indies completed their first innings in the morning at 392 for a 74-run lead. Then the unexpected dramatic ending began as West Indies sent the England batsmen back to the pavilion almost as soon as they walked out.
Andrew Flintoff top-scored for the tourists with 24.
The West Indies made early inroads before lunch as Taylor removed Alastair Cook for a duck and Sulieman Benn dismissed Ian Bell for four.
Cook snicked to second slip where Devon Smith held a while Bell chased a wide one and edged to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
Taylor continued his destruction after the break as he bowled Kevin Pietersen with a stunning, outswinging yorker for 1.
Taylor added the wickets of Strauss (9), Paul Collingwood (1) and Matt Prior (0) to leave England at 23-6 in 19 overs.
Benn reduced England to 26-7 when Broad nudged to short leg for a duck in the next over.
Flintoff added 24 with Ryan Sidebottom for the eighth wicket but they were delaying the inevitable.
Benn broke the stand when Sidebottom was leg before wicket for six as the last three wickets fell for one run.
Flintoff swung wildly and was bowled by Fidel Edwards, while Steve Harmison was bowled behind his back sweeping at Benn.
West Indies captain Chris Gayle hailed the win as a turning point for his side.
Gayle is one of five members of the West Indies team that were bowled out for 47 at Sabina Park five years ago as England clinched a 10-wicket win.
“Before the Test match, there was plenty of talk about it, and I had mentioned that I hoped it would be the other way around which it has actually turned out to be,” Gayle said.
“I now plan to go on the Mound [a spectator area at the ground] and celebrate with the fans because five years ago, when I went on the Mound following our defeat, I got into trouble,” he said.
■SRI LANKA V. INDIA
Tillakaratne Dilshan top-scored with a solid 97 as Sri Lanka prevented an Indian clean sweep with an emphatic 68-run win in the fifth and final one-day international yesterday.
The hosts posted 320-8 following impressive knocks from opener Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara (84) and then dismissed the tourists for 252 to register their first victory after four successive defeats.
The loss also ended India’s nine-match winning streak, beginning with a 5-0 series victory over England at home last year.