West Indies and England resumed their ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 campaign with a draw at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua. Batting first, England recovered from 115/5 to score 311; then allowed Windies to take a 64-run in the first innings lead. But the visitors declared their second innings at 349/6 to force a result. Windies survived a Jack Leach test to settle for a draw. The second Test starts on Wednesday in Bridgetown, Barbados. Catch daily highlights and cricket scores of the first WI vs ENG Test here:
Day 5 Recap
That England came within six wickets of winning on a sluggish pitch with an undermanned bowling attack — seamer Mark Wood was injured — was testament to their tenacity. West Indies also deserved credit for holding out after being reduced to 67/4. Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder kept England at bay for the last 36 overs, but not without some drama.
After England captain Joe Root notched his 24th Test century and was out for 109, England declared their second innings at 349/6 just before lunch on Day 5 and tempted West Indies with a winning target of 286 from 70 overs.
But West Indies lost too many wickets after lunch and went into survival mode, finishing on 147/4. Bonner was 38 not out after facing 138 balls and Holder 37 not out after 101.
Spinner Jack Leach was the main tormentor, getting the wickets of John Campbell (22), Shamarh Brooks (5) and Jermaine Blackwood (2). Ben Stokes got Windies captain Kraigg Brathwaite for 33.
Player of the match was Nkrumah Bonner, who also scored 123 in the Windies' first innings.
Day 4 Recap
West Indies resumed Day 4 at 373/9 but added only a couple for a 64-run lead. Kemar Roach then removed Alex Lees for 6, but England dominated the Windies with Zak Crawley and Joe Root scoring freely. Crawley and Root were unbeaten on 117 and 84 runs respectively. England have taken a lead of 153 runs.
Day 3 Recap
West Indies lost Jason Holder early in the day for 45 off 119 but the other hosts kept England bowlers busy with Nkrumah Bonner holding the innings together with a 355-ball knock. Joshua Da Silva hit 32 off 88. Kemar Roach also played 89 balls for his 15. At stumps on Day 3, Veerasammy Permaul and Jayden Seales were unbeaten on 26 off 87 and 0 off 5. For England, Craig Overton and Ben Stokes have taken two wickets each. Day's play: 90.1 overs, 171 runs and five wickets.
Day 2 Recap
In reply to England's 311, West Indies are 202/4 before rain stopped play early. The hosts were to a strong start with Kraigg Brathwaite hotting a fifty at the top but suffering a mini-collapse and were reeling at 127/4. However, an unbroken 75-run fifth-wicket stand between Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder steadied their ship.
England were dismissed for 311 all out in 100.3 overs despite a brilliant 140 off 259 from Jonny Bairstow. He was the last wicket to fall in the innings. Jayden Seales claimed four wickets, while Kemar Roach, Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph got a brace each.
Day 1 Recap
England captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first. But his decision backfired as both the openers Alex Lees (4, to Kemar Roach in the third over) and Zak Crawley (8, to Jayden Seales in the 4th) lasted a combined 20 balls. Root then got a beauty of a beauty from Roach to depart for 13 off 14. Then, Daniel Lawrence (20) and Ben Stokes (36) showed brief resistance, before the arrival of Bairstow, who has now hit centuries in successive matches. He was ably supported for Foakes (42) and Woakes (24 not out).
For the Windies Roach, Seales and Jason Holder claimed a brace each. But they somehow fizzled out towards the end of day one. At 115/5, England looked down and ou; but now, Windies need to start all over again.
England have never won a Test in Antigua in 31 years. They were beaten in three of their seven visits to the old Recreation Ground between 1981 and 2009, and also lost by ten wickets on their third and most recent visit to the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in 2019.
Besides, England have lost six of their last seven matches while West Indies suffered losses in their last three Tests. Windies, however, lead England 58-51 in the head-to-head record, with another 51 ending in draws. West Indies and England are the two bottom-side teams in the ICC World Test Championship table.
Toss: England captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first.
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Veerasammy Permaul, Jayden Seales.
England: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Daniel Lawrence, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes (wk), Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Mark Wood, Jack Leach.