Bonner and Holder ensure a draw for Windies in the first Test

North Sound – An unbroken stand of 80 for the fifth wicket between Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder earned West Indies a draw against England in the first Test on Saturday in Antigua.

Bonner, a century-maker in the first innings, was not out on 38, earning him the Player-of-the-Matcch award, and former captain Holder was not out on 37, navigating the Windies to safety on 147 for four in their second innings, after they were set 286 for victory on the final day of the match at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

The three-Test series remains level at 0-0 with the second Test starting this coming Wednesday at Kensington Oval in Barbados.

West Indies were set an improbable, if not impossible chase after England captain Joe Root completed his 24th Test hundred of 109 and enabled his side to declare on 349 for six in their second innings about half-hour before lunch.

The Windies opening pair of their captain Kraigg Brathwaite and left-hander John Campbell survived four overs before the lunch to carry the hosts to four without loss at the interval before emerging to carry on for a first wicket stand of 59.

West Indies were 59 for one when Brathwaite was lbw to Stokes for 33 before left-arm spinner Jack Leach grabbed three wickets either side of tea to reduce the Caribbean side to 67 for four soon after the break, but Bonner and Holder held firm.

Earlier, West Indies bowlers benefitted from England’s decision to chase quick runs to extend their lead after starting the day on 217 for one and ahead by 153.

Alzarri Joseph ended with 3-78 from 23.2 overs and fellow pacer Kemar Roach finished with 2-53 from 19 overs.

The Windies bowling, however, was not the highlight of the morning – rather it was Root after he broke several milestones with his hundred and helped his side to force the pace of scoring.

Root went past the retired Kevin Pietersen into second on the list of century-makers for the English in Tests, with only retired captain Sir Alastair Cook, on 33, ahead of him.

It was also Root’s 13th hundred in the post of England captain, taking him past Sir Alastair’s record of 12, but he was one of five wickets that the visitors conceded before the declaration when Joseph bowled him behind his legs.

Summarised scores:

ENGLAND 311 (Jonny Bairstow 140, Ben Foakes 42, Ben Stokes 36, Chris Woakes 28, Dan Lawerence 20, Joe Root 13; Jayden Seales 4-79, Jason Holder 2-24, Alzarri Joseph 2-70, Kemar Roach 2-6) and 349 for six declared (Zak Crawley 121, Joe Root 109, Dan Lawrence 37, Chris Woakes 18 not out, Jonny Bairstow 15 not out, Ben Stokes 13; Alzarri Joseph 3-78, Kemar Roach 2-53).

WEST INDIES 375 (Nkrumah Bonner 123, Kraigg Brathwaite 55, Jason Holder 45, John Campbell 35, Joshua da Silva 32, Veerasammy Permaul 26 not out, Shamarh Brooks 18, Kemar Roach 15, Jermaine Blackwood 11; Ben Stokes 2-42, Craig Overton 2-85) and 147 for four (Nkrumah Bonner 38 not out, Jason Holder 37 not out, Kraigg Brathwaite 33, John Campbell 22; Jack Leach 3-57).

(AR)

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