Brathwaite and Blackwood hundreds blunt England

Defiant hundreds from captain Kraigg Brathwaite and his deputy Jermaine Blackwood carried West Indies to 288 for four, replying to England’s first innings total of 507 for nine declared, in the seccond Test on Friday here.

Brathwaite was undefeated on 109 – his 10th Test hundred and first on home soil – and Blackwood fell a little before the close of play for 102 – his third Test hundred, and they blunted England’s hopes of seizing full control of the match at Kensington Oval.

The pair shared 183 for the fourth wicket, but Blackwood needed three slices of good fortune to bring the stability to the innings after England grabbed the wickets of Shamarh Brooks and Nkrumah Bonner to take a firm grip.

West Indies were 101 for three, and Blackwood was was yet to score when a delivery from ben Stokes kept low and pinned him in front.

Umpire Nigel Duguid ruled not out and England captain Joe Root decided not to review, but subsequent TV ball-tracking technology suggested the delivery was going to hit the middle of leg-stump.

Blackwood, on four, played forward to an in-swinging yorker from debutant England pacer Saqib Mahmood and was struck on the toe, and Duguid ruled not out again, but Root reviewed and the ball tracker revealed the Windies vice-captain was struck outside the line of the off-stump.

After he and Brathwaite carried West Indies to 114 for three at lunch and 196 for three at tea, Blackwood, on 65, was bowled when he drove loosely at another in-swinging yorker from Mahmood, but he was reprieved when it was discovered the bowler had over-stepped the popping crease and delivered a no-ball.

An exchange between Blackwood and Stokes prompted umpire Joel Wilson to intervene when tempers flared with England’s frustration growing with each passing delivery, but the Windies top brass continued to grind away and duly reached their hundreds.

West Indies were set back early after they continued from their overnight total of 71 for one.

Barbados Pride batsman Shamarh Brooks added only eight to his overnight score before he was caught at point off left-arm spinner Jack Leach, mistiming a cut in the eighth over of the day.

Nkrumah Bonner, a century-maker in the first Test of the series, came to the crease and with Brathwaite carried the Caribbean side past 100 before he was lbw to Ben Stokes for nine, playing back and across, a decision from umpire Nigel Duguid that was upheld after he reviewed.

For the next five hours, Brathwaite and Blackwood held firm, and eased the tension for their side.

The Windies have not lost a Test to the English in nearly two decades at Kensington Oval, and they have lost only twice – in 1994 and 2004 – in the history of Tests between the two sides at this ground.

The first of three Tests in this series ended in a draw this past Saturday at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, and the final Test will be played from March 24 at the National Cricket Stadium in Grenada.

Summarised scores:

ENGLAND 507 for nine declared (Joe Root 153, Ben Stokes 120, Dan Lawrence 91, Chris Woakes 41, Ben Foakes 33, Alex Lees 30, Jonny Bairstow 20; Veerasammy Permaul 3-126, Kemar Roach 2-68).

WEST INDIES 288 for four (Kraigg Brathwaite 109 not out, Jermaine Blackwood 102, Shamarh Brooks 39).


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