Bonner, Holder help West Indies draw opening Test


Jason Holder (centre) and Nkrumah Bonner, of West Indies, embrace after day five of their first Test against England ended in a draw at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in North Sound, Antigua on Saturday. (AP PHOTO) –

PATIENT and responsible batting from Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder on the fifth day helped West Indies draw the opening Apex Test match against England at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua, on Saturday.

After declaring on 349/6 in their second innings just before lunch, England set West Indies an improbable 286 for victory.

West Indies got off to a solid start with openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell putting on a patient partnership of 59 in 25.1 overs.

Four wickets then fell for eight runs giving England a chance of pulling off a victory.

Brathwaite was given out leg before off pacer Ben Stokes for 33, before Campbell was caught at mid-on for 22 as left-arm spinner Jack Leach got the scalp.

Leach then removed Shamarh Brooks as he only contributed five and Jermaine Blackwood soon followed for two. It was now 67/4 and England believed they were in with a chance of winning.

Bonner, who scored a workmanlike 123 in the first innings, was responsible again and was in no rush to score taking 34 balls to get off the mark.

He found an able partner in Holder and the pair spoiled England’s chance of a victory.

An 80-run unbroken fifth wicket partnership guided West Indies to 147/4 at stumps.

Bonner ended on 38 not out off 138 balls with eight fours and Holder scored an unbeaten 37 off 101 deliveries with three fours.

Leach was the most successful bowler with 3/57 in 30.1 overs.

Earlier in the day, England scored quickly in the morning session in an effort to set West Indies a competitive total and also give themselves time to bowl out the home team.

Resuming the day on 217/1, England declared on 349/6.

Overnight batsman Zak Crawley only added four runs to his overnight 117, before being bowled by fast bowler Holder.

Dan Lawrence clearly got the message to score boundaries hitting 37 off 36 balls.

England captain Joe Root, starting the day on 84 not out, was dismissed by fast bowler Alzarri Joseph for 109.

Stokes struck 13 off 13 balls, Jonny Bairstow hit 15 off 21 and Chris Woakes cracked 18 off 19 before England declared.

Joseph ended with figures of 3/78 in 23.2 overs and Roach snatched 2/53 in 19 overs.

Bonner was awarded the player of the match.

West Indies and England will square off in the second Test of the three-match series at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, bowling off on Wednesday.

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