Victory was in England’s sight after the quick wickets they picked post declaring with a lead of 281. Only, they were denied that by West Indies, who shut shop and batted out maiden after maiden to eke out the first draw at the Kensington Oval in Barbados since 2011.
Kraigg Brathwaite led West Indies’ resistance following up on his 160 in the first innings with an unbeaten 56 in the second as the hosts kept England at bay in the final session.
Having had lost three wickets in the middle session, Jack Leach gave England hope of taking a lead in the series with two more wickets in quick succession. Brathwaite, however, was resolute, skillful and showed lots of character to ensure West Indies weren’t disappointed with the eventual result. England threw everything they had at the West Indies, but with five wickets needed in the final hour, it came down to West Indies’ batters’ discipline in defense that paid dividends.
The Test had sprung to life when it started looking like it would end in a draw after England made a declaration with two sessions left in the game. Having had scored quick runs in the opening session to take their lead to 281, England struck back with three quick wickets to reduce West Indies to 65/3 by Tea.
West Indies trailed by 217, but batting out the remaining 35 overs in the final session was their top priority. Blackwood took his time for his 27, Jason Holder did his bit with a 24-ball outing for no runs, seeing out Leach and Dan Lawrence, before falling to a great catch. Joshua Da Silva (30*) and Brathwaite hung on thereafter to pull off a draw in what was a monumental effort from the West Indies captain with the scoreboard reading 135 for 5.
England continued to stretch their lead in the morning session despite losing quick wickets in a bit to score quick runs. England attacked with useful knocks from Zak Crawley, Lawrence and Jonny Bairstow before declaring on 185 for 6 at Lunch.
West Indies had 60 overs – two sessions – to negotiate, but lost John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks and Nkrumah Bonner without troubling the scoreboard too much.
The hosts tried to be positive but got themselves into a bit of a tangle losing three wickets in the space of 6 overs with two to Saqib Mahmood.
Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood – the centurions from the first innings – then put on a stoic resistance for a fifty-run stand.
Blackwood played at a lot of deliveries outside the off-stump that he should’ve left, but he survived until he was undone by Leach, who returned three wickets in the innings.
Brathwaite faced 673 balls in this game (112.1 overs) – the most by a West Indian batter in a Test match, surpassing Brian Lara’s 582 against England in 2004. Cricbuzz