England claim 19 wickets in single day to crush woeful West Indies and claim first Test victory

It was a historic day for Stuart Broad who surpassed Sir Ian Botham to take second place behind James Anderson in the national all-time list of Test wicket-takers Getty
The cliché of choice for England cricketers is that Test cricket is titled as such because it is a test. Well, this innings and 209-run demolition of a feeble West Indies inside three days was anything but.

Joe Root’s team will take the plaudits – and the 1-0 lead in this three-match series – for finishing off their opponents in ruthless fashion.

However, the fact 19 West Indian wickets fell on this third and final day is a damning indictment on a once proud cricketing nation.

Sport is all about the thrill of competition, the uncertainty of results in closely-fought encounters. This mismatch, though, was about as competitive as a Formula One car racing a horse and trap.

Amid the carnage, there was a slice of history for Stuart Broad, whose five wickets in this match saw him overtake Sir Ian Botham to move into second place on England’s all-time list of Test wicket-takers.

Only James Anderson, whose overall tally now stands at 492 after he also picked up five in this match, is ahead of Broad.

England appeal successfully for the wicket of Shane Dowrich (Getty)
The Nottinghamshire bowler, who now has 384 wickets in the oldest form of the game, took three for four in 11 balls under the Edgbaston floodlights to hasten his team to victory.

But in terms of drama, this first day-night Test in the UK was a huge disappointment.

Not much was expected of West Indies given they had lost their past five series in this country.

You do have to wonder, though, how suitable this kind of non-event is for England in terms of preparation for this winter’s Ashes.

Starting the day on 44-1 in their first innings, West Indies begun their second barely a session later after being skittled out for 168. In all their final nine first-innings wickets fell for 124 in 31 overs. Only Jermaine Blackwood, left stranded on 79 not out, showed any fight.

With a lead of 346, there was no doubt Root would enforce the follow-on.

And the faith in his bowlers was fully justified as they ran through their opponents again, dismissing them for 137 in just 45.4 overs.

By the time England had made their opponents bat again, the fans inside a packed-out Edgbaston had already seemingly lost interest in this match as a contest.

Kemar Roach is bowled by Stuart Broad (Getty)
Indeed, as the West Indies openers sought to see off the new ball in their second innings, those inside the boisterous Hollies Stand were more enthralled by a contest of their own – getting their inflatable ball back from the stewards. One by one the punters ran to the corner of the stand – a group of sheep was followed by scores of chickens, some Mexican banditos and whatever the collective noun for Fred Flintstones is.

They got it back, too, after a few minutes of chanting their demands, the rest of the 6,000-capacity Stand joining in to offer their support.

However, as the floodlights kicked in, Anderson soon diverted their attentions back to the field as he dismissed Kieran Powell with a delivery that nipped away, took the edge and flew into Alastair Cook’s hands at first slip.

West Indies were now 15 for one in their second innings, still needing to see off another 60 overs to take this match into a fourth day. By tea, with the tourists 76 for four, those chances looked remote.

Toby Roland-Jones, weighing in with his third wicket of the day, dismissed Kyle Hope lbw before Ben Stokes extinguished West Indies’ last Hope – Shai – thanks to a smart catch from Root that left the tourists on 60-3.

Toby Roland-Jones celebrates after bowling Shai Hope (Getty)
Moeen Ali removed Brathwaite lbw on review for 40 with the final ball before tea. He then ensured Blackwood would only add 12 second-innings runs to his fine effort in the first dig, having the Jamaican stumped by Jonny Bairstow shortly after the interval, West Indies now 102 for five.

Just two more runs were added to that total before Broad struck in successive deliveries, Roston Chase trapped lbw and Jason Holder caught superbly by Cook, to draw level with Botham on the all-time list.

Those wickets also gave Broad the chance to register his third Test hat-trick, a feat no bowler has ever achieved. However, Kemar Roach’s solid forward defensive put paid to those hopes.

Yet Broad, now in one of those irresistible spells, soon overtook Botham by bowling Shane Dowrich, West Indies now 115 for eight.

Anderson pushed the tourists further towards the brink with a fine delivery that bowled Roach.

And victory was sealed in the very next over, Roland-Jones having Alzarri Joseph caught by Stokes to put the West Indies out of their misery.

Anderson had set the tone in the first over of the day when his short ball had Kyle Hope caught at gully in the very first over.

West Indies captain Jason Holder leaves the field after being dismissed by Stuart Broad (Getty)
He then ran out Powell and bowled Chase via an inside edge for an 11-ball duck to reduce West Indies to 47 for four in their first innings.

There was to prove little respite for the tourists even if Blackwood and Shai Hope put on a spirited stand of 42 to temporarily stem the flow of wickets.

That resistance was ended, though, by Roland-Jones, who first bowled Hope and then trapped Dowrich lbw to reduce West Indies to 101 for six.

Blackwood was still showing fight and the Jamaican reached his tenth Test half-century in 49 balls.

He was running out of partners, though, and lost two more before lunch, his captain Holder falling for 11 on review after edging Moeen behind and Roach bowled by Broad.

The tourists went into the interval on 145 for eight and were all out for 168 half an hour into the second session, Broad dismissing Joseph lbw and Tom Westley running out last man Miguel Cummins to leave Blackwood stranded 21 runs short of a second Test century

It’s Time to Bring Back Victory Gardens

During the first and second world wars, many countries encouraged their citizens to grow gardens, often called “Victory Gardens.” This relieved some of the burden on the public food supply and was marketed as a way to help the war efforts. In fact, some sources report that 41% of the food consumed during these times was grown in these home gardens.

Vacant lots and public parks became fields of vegetables and many people grew gardens in their front yards or on rooftops.

The New Battle

Thankfully, we don’t currently face a world war (and hopefully won’t ever again), yet today, we fight a much different type of battle, but one that is claiming many lives and is now attacking our children as well.

This enemy is one we willingly let in and it attacks us from the inside out.

Of course, I’m talking about our food supply and the current state of health in our country. We aren’t facing an enemy armed with rifles, but a much smaller invader that we often willingly consume and feed our children.

Much of our food is a source of inflammatory substances like polyunsaturated oils, sugar and processed grains. We consume sugar to the tune of over 100 pounds per person per year and recent studies show that many of us are lacking in the basic vitamins and minerals we need for basic health.

Most sources agree that the majority of us are not consuming enough vegetables and fruits. In fact, the CDC reported that only 27% of us are consuming the recommended amount of vegetables per day (and many experts claim that the recommended amounts are lower than they should be anyway!)

Rising Food Prices

Another problem we face is rising food costs. Prices are rising on all types of foods, and organic vegetables and fruits are often especially pricey. In fact, even in the comments on this blog, the most common reason cited for not eating enough vegetables or choosing organic options is the prohibitive cost.

Sadly, this problem doesn’t seem likely to get better any time soon. Food prices are expected to continue to rise in the coming years and choosing organic produce will only get more difficult.

A Solution To Both Problems

I’ve said before that there is much wisdom we can learn from older generations, and their victory gardens are no exception. Though about 40% of US households grow gardens of some kind (according to 2008 data), increasing this number could address both rising food costs and increasing health issues.

Having a garden provides other benefits as well!

Statistically, gardeners live longer and there are many potential reasons for this. They spend more time outside, getting natural Vitamin D and coming in contact with the earth. Dirt has benefits of its own and the simple act of getting our hands dirty can provide immune benefits. Many people also report stress relief and better sleep from spending time outdoors gardening.

A side benefit for families is that gardening is a great activity to do together and an excellent remedy to spending too much screen time and not enough outdoor activity. How many things could be remedied if families would garden and walk/hike/play together?

Ways To Grow a Victory Garden

No matter how much (or how little) space you have, you can grow some organic vegetables. From tiny-scale gardens like sprouts and microgreens in the kitchen to a large-scale garden in the backyard, we can all grow something.

A Full Garden

Those who have enough room can grow much or all of their own food on their own property. Where we live, many people do this, and I’ve heard my in-laws talk about how they grew all of their own produce growing up. Even a 10 x 10 garden can grow a tremendous amount of food and is a great family activity.

Those without enough backyard space have gotten creative and some people are even growing beautiful front-yard vegetable gardens to make use of limited space.

New to gardening? Consider using an app (like this one) to plan and know optimal spacing and planting times for your zone.

Square Foot Garden

A highly efficient way of gardening that has gained popularity in recent years, square foot gardening allows those with small yards to produce a large amount of food.

Square foot gardens are typically raised beds that add soil on top of the existing ground and soil. They are more expensive up-front but are easy to maintain and typically produce very high yields. In fact, one small square foot garden can grow enough produce for an entire family if cared for correctly.

Square foot gardening turns the idea of traditional garden rows on its head and maximizes space by planting in one-foot square blocks.

Container Garden

Families with limited outdoor space can grow a container garden of some kind. A small planter can grow lettuce, spinach or herbs, while a larger planter box can grow a small square foot garden. Even a tiny window box on the outside of the window can contribute some greens or herbs.

Sprouts + Microgreens

Even families with absolutely no outdoor space can grow some food indoors. Foods like sprouts will grow easily in glass jars on a kitchen counter, and with a little more work, a tray of microgreens can create a lot of nutrition for a family.

Outsourced workers won a major victory at a London university

Following an epic eleven year campaign, all 120 outsourced staff at SOAS will be brought in-house and given better working conditions

Outsourced staff at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) have achieved a major victory, winning a ten year campaign for better working conditions and job security.

The university announced that all 120 agency staff currently outsourced would be brought in-house and given the same workers rights as existing SOAS academic and non-academic staff, including pensions, sick pay and holiday pay.

The agreement covers staff in a number of roles including catering, conferences and events, security, reception and post room workers.

The victory comes after workers and students occupied a part of the university for two weeks in June after redundancies of catering staff were announced; the university backed down.

However, they’ve been fighting years: outsourced staff at SOAS first started campaigning for better rights 11 years ago in 2006 when cleaners at the university established the ‘Justice for Cleaners’ campaign.

In 2008 the cleaners, supported by their union, UNISON, won a campaign to be paid the London Living Wage.

In 2014, joined by porters at the university, the campaign won parity of terms and conditions with directly employed staff. Then in August this year, the campaign was joined by security personnel and by catering staff.

Left Foot Forward spoke to Lenin Escudero, a member of the campaign and cleaner at SOAS of 17 years. Mr Escudero, originally from Ecuador, explained what the victory will mean for over a hundred outsourced staff.

“We’ve won sick pay the same as other SOAS staff get, we’re going to get 45 days of paid annual leave, the same pension rights, and the most important thing: we’re going to get job security and be treated with dignity and respect.”

The victory is especially important as it shows that migrant workers, who often suffer some of the worst employment conditions, can organise and win industrial disputes for better treatment, says Escudero:

“Almost 90 per cent of the outsourced workforce at SOAS are migrant workers, especially from Latin America and Africa”

The key to winning the eleven year victory, says Escudero, was persistence, a diversity of tactics and growing the membership of the campaign:

“We used so many different tactics: we went on strike, went into occupation, we protested and we embarrassed the university publicly in the news”

“We started as only cleaners but when we spoke to other outsourced workers, we realised we had the same problems and so we joined together and our power over the university grew”

In 2015 the workers brought in an independent financial consultant who wrote a report that showed, against all of the university’s claims, outsourcing was actually costing SOAS more than it would cost to bring the staff in-house.

“The university had been lying to us for many years, saying they needed to save money, when the report said there was no economic reason for it. So they had no argument left against bringing us in-house”

The move by the university is also a victory for the workers’ union, UNISON, and outsourced workers everywhere. Jo Galloway, an organiser for the union commented:

“Despite increased outsourcing across the sector, SOAS is the third London university this year to recognise the cost benefits and improved delivery of in-house services through negotiations and discussions with UNISON”