Kemar Roach moved past Gary Sobers to become West Indies’ seventh most prolific wicket-taker when he claimed the prized scalp of Joe Root during the second Test on his home ground in Barbados on Thursday.
As Sobers watched on at Kensington Oval, Root had hardly been tested all day when he was dismissed lbw by a ball that beat the England captain for pace and struck him on the knee roll.
The on-field decision was not out, prompting West Indies to potentially burn what would have been their final review had they gotten the decision wrong.
But ball-tracking showed the ball would have crashed into the top of leg stump, sending Root on his way for 153.
It was Roach’s 236th test wicket, achieved in his 70th test, at a most respectable average of just over 27 runs per wicket.
“Root missed a straight one. Lucky for me that I got him out,” said Roach, who had earlier come in for some heavy punishment by a rampant Ben Stokes, who made 120.
Roach was speaking at tea on day two as England approached the 500 mark in their first innings.
Still ahead of Roach are a quintet of West Indies’ pace greats from previous generations, along with spinner Lance Gibbs.
Unlike those ahead of him on the list, Roach has plied his trade on a team that has often struggled, which only adds to his accomplishment.
LEADING WEST INDIES WICKET-TAKERS:
519 – Courtney Walsh
405 – Curtly Ambrose
376 – Malcolm Marshall
309 – Lance Gibbs
259 – Joel Garner
249 – Michael Holding
236 – Kemar Roach
235 – Gary Sobers