A maiden Test century from Nkrumah Bonner inspired West Indies to draw the first Test against Sri Lanka at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Thursday. Bonner was pretty well assisted by Kyle Mayers, who scored a fighting half-ton to help his side in saving the Test match.
The hosts began their second innings at 34-1 on Day 5, still 340 runs behind and a massive challenge to earn a draw. Bonner stood like a wall and remained unbeaten on 113. He batted throughout the final day. At stumps, the Kraigg Brathwaite-led side reached 236 at the loss of 4 wickets.
Bonner and Mayers (52) added 105 runs for the third wicket and eliminated the visitors from bundling them out in order to register a victory.
For Lankans, Vishwa Fernando and Lasith Embuldeniya picked up two wickets each in the fourth innings.
Earlier, after winning the toss, the home side bowled out Sri Lanka for 169, with Jason Holder (5/27) bagging yet another fifer in his Test career. In reply, the West Indies scored 271 and gave a lead of 102 runs. Suranga Lakmal picked up five wickets for 47.
The Dimuth Karunaratne-led team came back strongly in the second essay, posting a humungous total of 476 on the scoreboard. The main highlight behind the big total was Pathum Nissanka, who smashed his maiden Test century. Niroshan Dickwella also shined with the willow and scored 96 runs.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Well played Bonner! 👏🏽
— Shai Hope (@shaidhope) March 25, 2021
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) March 25, 2021
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 25, 2021
Love to see our boys doing well, can’t stay away from @OfficialSLC this is what we all expecting, even on this time can’t stay away from this lovely game, boys gona do well and result will coming favor to us, #FingersCrossed# pic.twitter.com/zd9qUkfXRd
— Dhammika Prasad (@imDhammika) March 25, 2021
It takes a special kind of talent to score a Ton on Debut, that too when the pressure is on. Well done Pathum Nissanka. This is only the beginning champ. I hope he will be managed well
— Sanath Jayasuriya (@Sanath07) March 26, 2021
A fantastic test match season for West Indies 🏏🏏.
They won a test in England post the Covid break, won a series in Bangladesh chasing in excess of 350
In the final innings and now forcing this wonderful draw at home against 🇱🇰. #testcricket 👏👏
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) March 26, 2021
Well done Pathum Nissanka #Wivsl .. showing great strength in character as overlooked after mountain of runs .. hope he stays at @NondescriptsCC proving you don’t need to play at certain clubs to play for Sri Lanka..simple mantra .. score runs .. pick up wickets..Congratulations!
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) March 24, 2021
— Nibraz Ramzan (@nibraz88cricket) March 24, 2021
As always @irbishi is on the money. The famous run-chase in Bangladesh was spectacular but for this young @windiescricket batting line-up to bat 100 overs & draw the Test with 6 wickets to spare might be a lot more significant #WIvSL https://t.co/3HMGV7DAJ5
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) March 25, 2021
Nkrumah Bonner & Kyle Mayers are the first pair to have added 200+ and 100+ in their first 2 partnerships in the 4th innings of a Test.
— Andrew Samson (@AWSStats) March 25, 2021
Well done #pathumnissanka👏🏼 Test hundred’s always special but to do it on debut it’s even more special! Exceptional talent even more very humble boy. So far brilliant effort by all. Nicely set up a interesting final day! One big effort to pull this out @OfficialSLC lads👍🏽 #WIvSL
— Farveez Maharoof (@farveezmaharoof) March 24, 2021
— Sri Lanka Tweet 🇱🇰 (@SriLankaTweet) March 24, 2021
The Windies guys are giving me life rn cheering Bonner on, telling him to calm down ❤️ #WIvSL
— EEMS (@NaeemahBenjamin) March 25, 2021
"It's truly special for me. This is my childhood dream, and I'm really happy I've got this monkey off my back."
— Cricket on BT Sport (@btsportcricket) March 25, 2021
Maiden Test hundred for Nkrumah Bonner in the 4th innings while chasing 375 runs against Sri Lanka – 100* from 243 balls including 11 fours and 1 sixes – What a knock under pressure and he is playing just his 3rd Test. #WIvSL pic.twitter.com/Nz1NTGGkXR
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) March 25, 2021
Nkrumah Bonner & Kyle Mayers in 2021:
– Added 216 for the 4th wicket v Bangladesh in Chattogram earlier this year as WI chased down 395 in the 4th innings
– Added century stand for the 3rd wicket v Sri Lanka at North Sound as they are chasing 375 in the 4th innings
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) March 25, 2021
and there it is. Nkrumah Bonner's first Test century. He's saved this Test for the West Indies after helping to set up that extraordinary win in Bangladesh
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) March 25, 2021
Nkrumah Bonner is a true champion with an inspiring story. Made his T20 debut in 2011 and wasn’t successful.
Worked hard at his game, excelled at the first class level and 10 years later has his first test century.
3 50s and 1 hundred in his first 3 tests is a dream 🙌🏼 #WIvSL
— Nikhil Uttamchandani (@NikUttam) March 25, 2021
Nkrumah Bonner is only the the third player in Test history to make a score of 75+ in each of his first three Tests, after Azharuddin (1984-85 v Eng) and Markram (2017, v Bang and Zim).
— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) March 25, 2021
Nkrumah Bonner 1⃣0⃣0⃣*
Man of the series in Bangladesh and he continues his fine form with a debut 100 in the Caribbean.
Excellent test match knock once more 🇯🇲🇯🇲
Rally mi seh! #WIvSL
— Caribbean Cricket Podcast (@CaribCricket) March 25, 2021