How the ‘West­ern Ter­race’ was si­lenced by the tourists

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - CRICKET - CHRIS WATERS

IF the barom­e­ter of how a Head­in­g­ley Test match is go­ing is the mood of the fans on the old West­ern Ter­race, then it was clear that not every­thing was pro­ceed­ing to plan for Eng­land on Satur­day.

It all be­gan in fa­mil­iar fash­ion, with gi­ant beach balls passed around un­til they bounced onto the grass be­tween the bound­ary and the ad­ver­tis­ing hoard­ings, where­upon they were swiftly confiscated by green-jack­eted se­cu­rity staff, who were loudly booed for their trou­ble.

“We want our balls back,” chanted the crowd, as stew­ards led away the of­fend­ing in­flat­a­bles.

Later, in­flat­a­bles of a rather more du­bi­ous va­ri­ety were tossed among the more well-oiled pa­trons, while beer snakes were built and then crudely un­built as plas­tic glasses were thrown high into the sunny af­ter­noon.

It was typ­i­cal Satur­day-at-theHead­in­g­ley-Test stuff, with that ex­pe­ri­ence more play­ful than it used to be, when the old West­ern Ter­race – now the White Rose Stand – was a ver­i­ta­ble law unto it­self.

This year, the Satur­day of the Leeds Test went so well for the West Indies that the bore­dom lev­els of the crowd steadily in­creased as the threat of the English bowl­ing steadily de­creased, prompt­ing some spec­ta­tors to find other things to keep them­selves oc­cu­pied and amused.

Even­tu­ally, the dom­i­nance of the bats­men be­came such that the crowd be­came fed-up of their own an­tics, with a strange kind of si­lence en­velop­ing the fi­nal ses­sion.

When stumps were drawn, the West Indies score stood at 329-5 in re­ply to Eng­land’s 258, the sort of po­si­tion that evoked the dom­i­nant era of Greenidge, Haynes, Richards et al.

West Indies’ cricket has plum­meted sadly since then, but they do pos­sess two young bats­men in the form of Kraigg Brath­waite and Shai Hope who at least give hope for a brighter fu­ture.

Af­ter James An­der­son re­duced the tourists from their overnight 19-1 to 35-3, hav­ing Daven­dra Bishoo caught be­hind and Kyle Hope held low down at sec­ond slip by Joe Root, Brath­waite and Shai Hope added 246 for the fourth wicket from 413 balls through a com­bi­na­tion of skill, pa­tience and above all char­ac­ter.

Brath­waite, who struck 134, played like a proper open­ing bats­man be­fore Stu­art Broad ar­rowed one through his gate with the sec­ond new ball.

Hope, who ended the day on 147, played with sim­i­lar as­sur­ance, the pair achiev­ing the con­sid­er­able feat of even­tu­ally qui­et­ing a Head­in­g­ley Satur­day crowd.

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