West Indies v England – Test Two: Kraigg Brathwaite and Windies dig deep to thwart England’s chances of victory Yorkshire News

England lost their battle of wills with Kraigg Brathwaite and drew the second Test against their West Indies side after a case of déjà vu in Barbados.

After falling short by six wickets on the final day of the series opener in Antigua, England were once again forced to settle for a deadlock at Kensington Oval. On both occasions, the lifeless shots and stiffness of the West Indies will have outmatched the English effort, leaving everything on the line in this week’s decider in Grenada.

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Joe Root declared 281 ahead at lunch, leaving 65 overs for his bowling attack to conquer benign conditions, but Brathwaite’s studious 56 didn’t see him close at 135-5.

Got it: Jack Leach of England celebrates tacking the wicket of Jermaine Blackwood of the West Indies. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

The Bajan blocker held the fort for a remarkable 11 hours and 39 minutes as he hit 160 in the early innings and once again showed his powers of concentration, carrying his bat for another four hours.

That added another 184 balls to his tally of 673 matches, the most ever faced by a Caribbean cricketer. The timing of Root’s statement may invite some discussion, given that it was slightly less ambitious than the equation he unsuccessfully established in the first Test, when he hung 286 in 71 overs, but even an extra half hour may not have been enough to break the wall

The West Indies had held 187.5 overs in the opening innings and, despite a couple of awkward moments, kept their focus. Jack Leach looked like the most likely winner of the match, finishing 3-36, and would have been forgiven for skipping handshakes late in the match after putting up a gargantuan 94.5 overs over the five days.

Saqib Mahmood also made a strong first impression on his debut with a hostile spell that netted Shamarh Brooks and Nkrumah Bonner scores in single figures. In the end, an external whiff of victory simply required more than England had.

From left to right, England players Chris Woakes, Jonny Bairstow and captain Joe Root celebrate the dismissal of West Indies’ Jason Holder during day five of their second test cricket match at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, on Sunday, March 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalán)

Rain intervened three times in the morning session as they looked to add to their total and secure the game, adding 145 from 24.5 overs. It was a selfless operation that cost them six wickets while accepting the risk that comes with quick scoring.

Dan Lawrence was the most successful, leading scorer with 41 on 39 balls as he continued to play with sheer confidence that has seen his value rise considerably this journey. Root probably could have pulled the plug on the 250 ahead, but he ended up playing until the interval.

Despite the delay, England almost got off to a dream start on the ball when Brathwaite dodged the first delivery of Chris Woakes’ tackles, close but not close enough to the short-legged receiver.

Instead, they had to settle for John Campbell’s lesser value scalp to get things moving. Leach was the pitcher, coming on the attack after just 15 minutes, with DRS picking up a glove touch on the way to Alex Lees under the helmet.

England’s Ben Stokes bats against the West Indies during day five of their second test cricket match at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, Sunday, March 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Saqib then put some real wind into England’s sails with a striking burst that saw him generate good pace and movement, as well as movement off the seam.

Brooks succumbed first, attacking Zak Crawley, who juggled the ball twice but gave him enough air for Root to lunge and meet. The England captain seized the next chance cleanly at the first slip, Saqib slicing through the shoulder of Bonner’s bat with a rip.

At 39-3, the unlikely mission seemed to be underway, but Brathwaite and his partner, first-inning centurion Jermaine Blackwood, closed things out.

At tea the score was 65-3, exactly the same score at the same point as the previous match. The fourth-wicket pair put up 50 on 150 balls on either side of the interval, with Root leaning on Lawrence’s unorthodox branding and Leach’s more conventional style and keeping his closers in reserve. With the runs irrelevant and the nearby catchers stacking the bat, there was one more twist to the story.

Bairstow had been parked in a surprisingly short ravine, knelt down with a helmet for protection, and took control as Leach found the outer edge of Blackwood.

Jason Holder’s arrival at number six brought back more memories of Antigua, where he helped close out the game. But he couldn’t repeat the effort here, using just 24 deliveries before threading a loose blow into coverage. With Lawrence springing into action for a hard catch, Leach had a third.

With the light fading in the final hour, England had missed their chance for another burst of pace and Brathwaite found a capable partner in Josh Da…

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This notice was published: 2022-03-20 23:34:20

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