Thursday, Jul 07, 2022

WI Vs ENG, 1st Test: Jason Holder, Nkrumah Bonner Revive West Indies After Initial Wobble Against England

In reply to England’s 311, West Indies were 127/4 at one stage before Jason Holder and Nkrumah Bonner stitched 75 runs for the unbroken fifth stand.

West Indies' Nkrumah Bonner plays a shot on Day 2 of first Test against England in North Sound.
West Indies' Nkrumah Bonner plays a shot on Day 2 of first Test against England in North Sound. AP

England led the West Indies by 109 runs after limiting the home side to 202-4 on day two of the first Test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Jason Holder and Nkrumah Bonner revived West Indies with a dogged unbeaten stand of 75 runs to early stumps after they were wobbling at 127-4.

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The pair took no risks and offered no chances, and safely managed a largely toothless England attack. Holder, 43 not out, and Bonner, 34 not out, ground out 75 together at just over two runs an over until they were interrupted by a fourth shower and stumps were pulled.

Their stand was in contrast to the innings' breezy start. The openers, captain Kraigg Brathwaite and the recalled John Campbell, coasted after England was bowled out for 311 from 268-6 overnight.

Brathwaite and Campbell cruised past lunch and hit 13 boundaries and a six until Campbell's demise ended their stand on 83. Campbell was out down the leg side for 35. Brathwaite reached his fifty in only 62 balls but was prised out for 55 by fast bowler Mark Wood.

Shamarh Brooks edged Ben Stokes to the slips on 18 and Jermaine Blackwood was dropped on 0 off Wood. The damage was minimal, though, as Blackwood was out for 11 to Chris Woakes after umpire Joel Wilson was reviewed and overturned.

From 83 without loss, West Indies lost 44-4 in 16 overs and a great start was at risk of being wasted. But Holder and Bonner blocked superbly and punished anything loose. They survived a period of reverse swing, and nine consecutive maidens by spinner Jack Leach, but the pressure wasn't applied from both ends.

Woakes and Craig Overton led the England attack for the first time in the absence of the dropped James Anderson and Stuart Board and the injured Ollie Robinson, and failed to impress with the new ball and the old ball despite taking a wicket each.

They were the most expensive, apart from a couple of overs of spin from part-timer Joe Root. Wood always menaced, and Stokes was watched carefully. But Holder and Bonner grew a little bolder as the wind picked up between the showers, and they gave West Indies hope of making the test a lasting contest.

The day started with England batting and adding only 43 runs to its overnight total. Jonny Bairstow moved from 109 to 140 off 259 balls before he was last man out, slicing high to backward point. Fast bowlers Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph shared the last four wickets, Seales finishing with 4-79.


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