Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder exhibited gritty cricket on the final day of the first Test against England, helping West Indies to earn a dramatic draw.
Having lost several overs to rain late on Day 4, the possibility of a result going into Day 5 was quite minimal. But a thrilling first session set up a chance for the visitors to pull off a victory. England captain Joe Root smashed his 24th Test century.
Though the hosts bagged five wickets in the session, England still had enough on the lead (285 runs) to declare and put pressure on the Caribbeans. The home team did start well with John Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite, adding 59 runs and batted for 25 overs.
However, Ben Stokes drew the first blood in form of captain Brathwaite (33), which also triggered a collapse. West Indies lost three more wickets in quick successions courtesy of left-arm spinner Jack Leach, who bagged all the three scalps in the form of Campbell (22), Shamarh Brooks (5), and Jermaine Blackwood (2) to reduce the Windies to 67/4 in 35 overs.
The three quick wickets would’ve risen Root’s hopes of a final session carnage, but then Bonner stepped up – for the second time this Test match – to ruin England’s plans. The right-handed batter, who smashed his second Test century in the first innings, batted with more cautiousness and grit in the second essay to finish the game unbeaten on 38 off 137 balls.
Holder played a major supporting role, putting all his experience in the game to ensure he remained not out on 37 off 101 deliveries. The duo played out 34.4 overs in their undefeated 80-run stand for the fifth wicket, which eventually assisted West Indies to earn a draw.
West Indies 375 (Bonner 123, Brathwaite 55) and 147/4 (Bonner 38 not out, Holder 37 not out) drew with England 311 (Bairstow 140, Seales 4/79) and 349/6 dec (Crawley 121, Root 109)
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) March 12, 2022
That's that: match drawn in Antigua. England waited until it was victory was impossible to shake hands. Another excellent partnership between Bonner and Holder after a Windies wobble around tea.
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) March 12, 2022
I'd be happier if I was in the WI camp than the English one after that.
127/4 & 67/4 and their brittle batting order stood up superbly. Lots of contributions in the 1st inns and Bonner and Holder holding England at bay in the 2nd innings.#ENGvWI
— Tim Dale Lace (@Tim32_cricket) March 12, 2022
Played Holder, played Bonner. Played Leacher Man.
Joe Root, have a think about things.
— Bobson Dugnutt 🇺🇦 (@BobbyDugnutt111) March 12, 2022
England escape with a lucky draw but stay bottom of the WTC table.
They'll have to play better than this test to take our 8th place position.
We move to Barbados #WIvENG
— Caribbean Cricket Podcast (@CaribCricket) March 12, 2022
Well done Westindies…solid batting once again Bonner and Holder👏👏👏👏👏👏…Joe root u really sick inno lol saddis make england bowl out all inno😂😂
— David Koylass (@DavidKoylass) March 12, 2022
— Touhidur Rahman (@Touhid45387813) March 12, 2022
Holder & Bonner held out with their 80 run partnership to get to the draw
No time for players to too comfortable, 2nd Test starts in 3 days#WIvENG
— ThePoppingCrease (@PoppingCreaseSA) March 13, 2022
Bonner and Holder .. what a partnership 🙌🙌
— Maharshi Thakker (@thakkermaharshi) March 12, 2022
— elavasam (@elavasam) March 12, 2022