Holder and Bonner stabilise Windies

North Sound – On the day that the International Cricket Council, the sport’s world governing body, announced he had lost the title of No. 1 Test all-rounder in the world, Jason Holder gave further proof of his worth to West Indies when he rescued them from another infuriating batting collapse against England in the first Test on Wednesday in Antigua.

Holder was not out on 43 and Nkrumah Bonner was not out on 34, and carried West Indies to 202 for four – still 109 in arrears – when rain and bad light brought an early close on the second day’s play at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

Holder and Bonner took few risks and offered no chances, and batted through the final period of play to put on 75 – unbroken – for the fifth wicket.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and recalled fellow opener John Campbell gave the Windies innings a breezy start.

The opening pair cruised past lunch and hit 13 boundaries and a six in an opening stand of 83 before Campbell was caught behind down the leg side for 35.

Brathwaite reached his half-century in only 62 balls, but fast bowler Mark Wood got him caught at gully for 55.

Shamarh Brooks made 18 before he edged Ben Stokes to slip, and Jermaine Blackwood added 11 before he was caught at gully off pacer Chris Woakes.

From 83 without loss, West Indies lost four wickets for 44 in 16 overs until Holder and Bonner came together to stabilise the innings.

Earlier, the young pace duo of Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph equally shared the last four English wickets and the visitors were bowled out for 311.

Seales was the most successful bowler for the Caribbean side, ending with 4-79 from 22 overs, and Joseph finished with 2-70 from 20.3 overs after the visitors continued from their overnight total of 268 for six and were bowled out about 40 minutes before lunch.

Seales, 20, struck twice in the seventh over of the morning when he got Woakes caught behind for 28, gloving a rising ball, and Craig Overton caught at forward short leg for a second-ball duck before England reached 300.

Joseph struck in successive overs after the English passed the 300 mark to bring the innings to a close when he got Wood caught at point for one from a miscued hook and the visitors’ batting hero, Jonny Bairstow caught in similar fashion for the top score of 140.

Bairstow batted for almost 6 1/2 hours, faced 259 balls, and struck 21 fours to rescue England from the depths of 48 for four the previous day.

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).

WEST INDIES 202 for four (Kraigg Brathwaite 55, Jason Holder 43 not out, John Campbell 35, Nkrumah Bonner 34 not out, Shamarh Brooks 18, Jermaine Blackwood 11). (AR)

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