Resolute Brathwaite steers West Indies to tense draw against England

SUMMARY: England 507-9 dec. (Joe Root 153, Ben Stokes 120, Dan Lawrence 91, Chris Woakes 41, Ben Foakes 33, Alex Lees 30; Veerasammy Permaul 3-126, Kemar Roach 2-68, Jayden Seales 1-55) and 185-6 dec. (Dan Lawrence 41, Zak Crawley 40; Permaul 2-29, Seales 2-34) lead West Indies 411 (Kraigg Brathwaite 160, Jermaine Blackwood 102, Shamarh Brooks 39, Joshua DaSilva 33*; Jack Leach 3-118, Saqib Mahmood 2-58, Ben Stokes 2-65, Dan Lawrence 1-8) and 135-5 (Brathwaite 56*, DaSilva 30*, Blackwood 27; Leach 3-36, Mahmood 2-21) by 147 runs

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Report and Photography by Akeem Greene in Barbados

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Fielders swarmed the bat for the entire final session, and every edge or striking of the pad brought an exuberant reaction. The shadows that lengthen as the sun set on the Kensington Oval only added further optics to the classic Test match theater.

For West Indies, it was not about runs, it was about survival, and for England, it was about wickets, and the hosts managed to survive the truckload of pressure to ensure the series is 0-0 as they to Grenada for the final Test from March 24.

The man ensuring West Indies avoided capitulation was captain Kraigg Brathwaite with another gritty innings which kept a raging England at bay. The opener finished with an unbeaten 56 to go along with his epic 160, compiled over 11 hours in the first innings.

Jack Leach gave West Indies a ton of trouble on the final day (Photo: News Room/Akeem Greene/March 20, 2022)

Brathwaite once again buckled down to face 184 balls, to add to the 489 he batted in the first innings. Besides the skipper when they shook hands was Joshua DaSilva on 30.

Set 282 by England, West Indies entered the final session needing 217 runs from a nominal 35 overs with seven wickets still in the bank.

Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood, the first innings heroes, added 50, but it was really about the 25 overs they took to stabilise the side after they were 39-3.

Blackwood fell for 27 when he edged Jack Leach to the kneeling gully and England believed again the unlikelihood was possible.

Jason Holder, after facing 24 deliveries in search of his first run, slapped a long-hop to cover and England’s dream became more a reality.

However, Brathwaite and DaSilva then soaked up the immense pressure with a vital stand of 42 from 20 overs and ensured the draw.

Jonny Bairstow made 29 in the second innings (Photo: News Room/Akeem Greene/March 20, 2022)

ANOTHER EARLY STUTTER

Shamarh Brooks (4) had another failure, all too similar by playing away from his body to be gobbled up in the slip cordon, while Nkrumah Bonner (3) was turned into an ‘S’ for Saqib Mahmood’s second of the innings.  John Campbell (10) fell to a bat-pad catch off the final delivery of Leach’s first over.

ENGLAND’S CHARGE

Starting the day at 40 without loss, England charged to 185-6 declared by lunch as the lead rose quickly on the rain-affected morning.

Zak Crawley motored to 40, while Dan Lawrence cracked a 39-ball 41 in the quest for quick runs. Veerasammy Permaul ended with 2-29, while Jayden Seales took 2-34.

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