Zak Crawley’s unbeaten second Test century and a controlled, unbeaten 84 by skipper Joe Root pushed England to safety at 217 for one in their second innings on a rain-shortened fourth day of the first Test at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Friday. After trailing 64 runs at the start of the innings, the tourists finished the day before with 153 and nine wickets in hand. They may harbor the thought of trying to force victory on the last day, although the benign nature of the field suggests a tame draw is almost inevitable.
Crawley’s 117 that didn’t top the table, however, was an innings of undeniable quality whatever the circumstances.
Upright and elegant, the right-hander’s first three-digit test knock in nearly two years came from exactly 200 deliveries and was adorned with 16 fours.
His second wicket partnership with Root has yielded 193 runs so far with the captain appearing completely at ease without being ultra-aggressive.
He seems destined to add to his tally of 23 Test hundreds via innings that has so far owned 158 deliveries in which he stroked six limits.
“Root has such a calm mind,” Crawley said.
“He told me to just keep concentrating because sometimes they were bowling really well. He’s such a calm person and I took a lot from him over the course of the day.”
Despite the nature of the field and the expectation of a final day stalemate, Crawley continues to hope for an unexpected drama.
“It’s definitely still a good wicket. It hasn’t broken as often as we thought it would,” he acknowledged.
“But we still hope it breaks up a bit tomorrow and gives us a good chance to kick them out.”
When Crawley lost to Kemar Roach for the second time in the game for lunch for lunch cheap opening partner Alex Lees, the tourists would have been definitely uneasy, given the first-class weaknesses exposed in the first innings.
Roach thought he had removed Crawley for a duck prior to Lees’ demise, when umpire Gregory Brathwaite ruled the opening leg to a full throw.
However, the batsman immediately reversed the decision and was vindicated with televised replays showing the ball missed the stumps some distance away.
Whether newcomer Lees will get another chance in the second Test in Barbados in five days’ time remains to be seen, but the southpaw certainly seemed to have obvious technical flaws, especially for Roach’s attack line.
However, Root’s arrival changed the complexion of the innings from a vulnerability to growing certainty.
Nothing characterized the quiet playing surface more than Roach, who is normally a sharp fast medium at his best, and asked wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva to stand against the stumps during a mid-afternoon spell as the batsmen took the field toward him. came. †
Even Nkrumah Bonner got a chance to whip up some of his part-time wrist spinners just before a final heavy rainstorm paid for the chance for more play in the final session of the day.
England were kept in the field all day on a bloated third day by the West Indies, who advanced their first innings by 171 runs at 90.1 overs, taking just three deliveries to claim the last wicket on the fourth morning.
Last man Jayden Seales was caught leg-for by Jack Leach, giving the left arm spinner his second wicket of the innings after 43.3 overs of toil.
West Innings’ first-innings total of 375 represented an excellent recovery from the inconvenience of 127 for four on the second afternoon and was mainly due to a patient second Test Century from Bonner, who spent more than nine hours collecting 123 before he was dropped the ninth wicket on the third day.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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