First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened

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Over-by-over report: Join our writers for updates on the final day’s play at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.


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And here is Ali’s report of the final day:

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Related: West Indies dig in to force draw with England in first Test

Honours even


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Well there we go, a hard fought draw – five long days in the dirt for both sides and in the end they couldn’t be separated. Proper Test criggit. Both sides will fancy their chances of sneaking a series win over the other if the surfaces in Barbados and Grenada have a bit more life in them.

England have problems in the bowling department though. Mark Wood is likely to be ruled out of at least the next game and maybe the whole tour. Ollie Robinson has been spied bowling in the nets but it will be a push for him to be fit to play a Test match in just a few days time. It was painful to watch Stokes running in for over after over at the end there, especially as there was nothing to be gained. Even if Stokes wanted to do it (which he no doubt did) Root has to be strong enough to say no to his talisman, especially when he’s fresh off a side strain… You’d think Saqib Mahmood and the lesser/never spotted Matt Parkinson should be in with a shout of a start in the remaining two matches.

Ali’s match report will be working its way over from Antigua any moment now.

Thanks for your comments and company over the last five days, the OBO community are a special thing. That’s me signing off, schmaltzily, for the night – must be hungry. Take care and we’ll see you for the next game.





Ben Stokes bowled 41 overs across both innings of the first Test against West Indies.

Only three times has he bowled more deliveries in a single Test match.#WIvENG

— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) March 12, 2022



No victory, and plenty to ponder re seamers’ fitness, but five fairly encouraging days for England I reckon. Three hundreds scored, and a performance that should give Jack Leach confidence.

— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) March 12, 2022



Windies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite:

“It was hard fought for all five days. Hard work and we showed we had to show some fight at the end. It was a great effort from the bowling group and our batters, as well.

First innings, we were good with new ball. In the middle we need to find ways to be tighter. If we bring the runs down throughout the innings, that builds pressure and makes those wickets easier to get.”

On POTM Bonner:

“I think he’s better than me. Before the game he told me ‘300 balls (he will face)’ – that’s the determination. He set the example in the first innings and today he came again and showed his worth. This pitch was good for batting. The ball didn’t spin much, so you have to be tight. There are areas in terms of run rate where we could improve, especially in the middle overs.”



Joe Root speaks: “I’m really proud of the team today. From that first hour, we were in a tricky spot, the skill level we’ve shown, to not panic and get ourselves back in the game, we got better and better.

Jonny’s hundred, Leachy today, I can’t fault the efforts of anyone. On that wicket, extra pace with the reverse is exactly what you want.

On Mark Wood’s injury:

“It’s Disappointing, but obviously not Mark’s fault, you can’t help getting injuries. We’ll assess how he is in Barbados.

On the centurions – Bairstow and Crawley:

“I thought they were magnificent. For Jonny to read the game and play that innings showed great maturity. A Fantastic knock in the circumstances. Zak, off a lean year, showed a lot of character to stand up, he’s one of the senior batters now, it was important for him to play an innings like that for himself.”



Nkrumah Bonner, inevitably, is Player of the Match – “A man of few words” Ian Bishop says of him in the post match interview.

“I like to bat at this venue, Bonner says. “I think it was a very good wicket. Obviously we wanted to win but we’re happy with the draw.”

“When I was young I always wanted to played Test cricket, and over the years I set out to bat long. I’m versatile, I adapt to the situation. Playing Test cricket, the aim is to play a lot of balls. We showed real character with the way we bowled. We’ve got a lot to take from this game.”

Well played that man!

Match Drawn. West Indies 147-4 (Holder 37* Bonner 38*)


After one ball of the last over the two teams shake hands! Well played Nkrumah Bonner and Jason Holder, they safely shepherded the West Indies there, blunting England until they had nothing left in the tank.

Special mention to Jack Leach who whirled his way through 30.1 overs to pick up 3-57 in that innings to go with his 2-79 off 43.3 overs in the first.

The teams head to Barbados on level pegging.



70th over: West Indies 147-4 (Bonner 38, Holder 37) Another maiden from Lawrence and we are down to the last…



69th over: West Indies 147-4 (Bonner 38, Holder 37) Leach once more, we’re going the distance here. Holder leans on one and it goes for four through mid-off. A single brings Bonner on strike and he edges one away wide of slip for four more. Two overs to go. It’s all a formality now.



68th over: West Indies 138-4 (Bonner 34, Holder 32) Stokes… is finally sent for a blow. Dan Lawrence takes over to send down his funky stuff and he starts with a funky maiden. Great effort from West Indies this. Both sides have given as good as they’ve got, just a slight shame the pitch has been so benign.



67th over: West Indies 138-4 (Bonner 34, Holder 32) The magnificent Leach sends down another maiden, I almost can’t watch to see what Root does next…



66th over: West Indies 138-4 (Bonner 34, Holder 32) Steve Harmison is having a full pride of kittens on commentary as Root throws the ball to Stokes AGAIN! Madness if you ask me. Five dots and then Bonner cuts away for four off the final ball. Still we go on.

Ben Stokes’ heavy workload in this test match has seen his pace drop off in the 4th innings – just 21% of his deliveries have clocked above 82mph today. @IGcom #WIvENG

— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) March 12, 2022



65th over: West Indies 134-4 (Bonner 30, Holder 32) Leach sends down a maiden but not without incident. Holder flicking one to leg and the ball balloons off either his boot or his bat or both… Crawley pulls off another short grab at slip. It goes upstairs and is rock and rolled repeatedly before the third umpire sticks with the soft signal of NOT OUT. Root is unhappy and has words with Umpire Wilson.



64th over: West Indies 134-4 (Bonner 30, Holder 32) Jeeeeez, Ben Stokes pulls up lame and doesn’t deliver the ball at the very end of his action. I think he tripped up but still he looks ginger in his movements. I don’t understand what Root is doing here pushing Stokes to the brink once more. Bonner flays him away for four off a no ball too. Daft. 7 Overs remaining.



63rd over: West Indies 129-4 (Bonner 26, Holder 32) Holder flays Leach away for three into the leg side and Bonner then picks up a single by dabbing the spinner away behind point. The ball is not going through that circular gizmo and will be changed. Maybe it will start doing all sorts? Ben Stokes is going to continue. Harrumph.



62nd over: West Indies 125-4 (Bonner 25, Holder 29) Holder clips Stokes away for one through mid-wicket. The camera tracks Root at the end of the over but there’s no hand offered just yet. Stokes is goosed, huffing and puffing with a rouge pallour. Not much longer left in this game I shouldn’t think. Some of us have got a fish curry and a beer to tuck into after all.



61st over: West Indies 124-4 (Bonner 25, Holder 28) Woakes replaces Leach and is picked off for 3 runs off his first ball by Holder. It’s then a case of block block block block and… block by Bonner.



60th over: West Indies 121-4 (Bonner 25, Holder 25) Stokes sends down a maiden. This looks increasingly futile for England. Fair play to West Indies and Bonner in particular, who have been dogged in resistance.



59th over: West Indies 121-4 (Bonner 25, Holder 25) Holder picks up two off Leach by leaning on a full one that whistles through the covers. On we go.

“Hello Jim”

Hello Tim Sanders!

“I can’t see why there’d be any handshakes on the draw until the number of wickets required is one fewer than the number of balls remaining. Wait, I say, until Slim has left town !”

Admirable fighting spirit from you Tim. Give ‘em nowt eh!



58th over: West Indies 119-4 (Bonner 25, Holder 23) Overton to continue and Bonner flicks him away fine for four. But then big Craig pins him in front and the umpire gives it! Bonner reviews straight away though suggesting he knows something we don’t… sure enough he has got a meaty inside edge on it and won’t be going anywhere. The decision is reversed and England are crestfallen.



49th over: West Indies 89-4 (Bonner 9, Holder 13) Leach sends down a maiden but there is a huge appeal off the last ball! Holder gets trapped in front and all the fielders go up. They decide not to review but argh DONT LOOK NOW, JOE – the replay shows the ball was hitting flush on leg stump and would have been overturned if Root had sent it upstairs. “Fine margins” Gower coos on comms.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian England fielders appeal unsuccessfully for the wicket of Jason Holder of the West Indies. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images



57th over: West Indies 115-4 (Bonner 21, Holder 23) Leach gets the final act of this game underway and there’s a solitary single off it to Bonner.

Bill Hargreaves takes to the twitters with an interesting theory.

Fascinating match, @Jimbo_Cricket . Thanks for the great commentary.

I wonder if, when an appeal isn’t sent upstairs, but the replay shows it would have been out, that this influences the umpires a little for later appeals?

Helps the ‘expected wickets’ or something?

— William Hargreaves (@billhargreaves) March 12, 2022



56th over: West Indies 114-4 (Bonner 20, Holder 23) Overton bangs some in short but to no avail, Bonner crunches one away through backward point and another couple through the same region.

Time for a drink. We’ll be into the final hour when they come back.



55th over: West Indies 107-4 (Bonner 15, Holder 21) Leach sends down another maiden. There are 16 overs remaining, if we go the distance.

Tom Van Der Gucht has a dream:

“Jim, with half the fast bowlers injured and the other half ineffective whilst playing on flat decks, wouldn’t it be amazing to see Leach and Parkinson lead the bowling attack in the next test…”



54th over: West Indies 107-4 (Bonner 15, Holder 21) Lawrence fires one down the leg side that Foakes can’t grasp and it runs away for four byes.

Kim Thonger has an interesting theory:

“James a canny captain would orchestrate something to distract the batsmen and break their concentration. A streaker perhaps? Root seems to lack the Machiavellian touch.” You first, Kim.



53rd over: West Indies 103-4 (Bonner 15, Holder 21) A maiden from Leach but a huge appeal off the first ball of the over! He gets one to rip past Holder’s poke forward and England think the big man has got a tickle on it. They review and… flatline flatline flatline – they lose their last review.



52nd over: West Indies 103-4 (Bonner 15, Holder 21) Lawrence is driven handsomely by Bonner through the covers for four.



51st over: West Indies 99-4 (Bonner 11, Holder 21) Eight runs come off Leach’s latest to just release the pressure valve a smidge. Holder whips him away for a boundary and picks up a couple of twos into the leg side. 20 overs remain. Unless something happens very soon this is going to finish even stevens.



50th over: West Indies 91-4 (Bonner 11, Holder 13) Lawrence gets one to turn big back in towards the stumps that Bonner lets go but must have only ended up missing by a rizla’s width. I think I could hear Bonner draw breath from here… two from it. On we go.



48th over: West Indies 89-4 (Bonner 9, Holder 13) Lawrence gets a few to rip, those flailing limbs getting plenty of action onto the ball. Holder flicks him through mid-wicket for a single.

Jack Leach is a proper survivor isn’t he

— Felix White (@felixwhite) March 12, 2022

Isn’t he just. He’d love a few more here though and get England within a sniff of an elusive win.



47th over: West Indies 88-4 (Bonner 9, Holder 12) Leach is back on and he’s hitting a good length straight away. There’s just a single off it. Dan Lawrence is coming on next with his simply fantastic bowling action. This is what we all wanted. England need to pick up a couple of quick ones otherwise they might shake hands on this in a bit.



46th over: West Indies 87-4 (Bonner 9, Holder 11) Stokes cracks on after drinks and Bonner pulls him away for four to go to 9 off 62 balls. He’s batting England out of this match. Again.



45th over: West Indies 83-4 (Bonner 5, Holder 11) Woakes once more and Holder glides him away to third man for a four.

That’s drinks. England need one, it’s gone a wee bit flat.

My brother Will, whose house I am in this weekend, has just appeared with a Macchi Tikka – a spicy cod dish and a cold beer… Smells bloomin’ lovely. I of course won’t be indulging until this game has reached its conclusion. A professional to the end.

Wicket! Blackwood lbw b Leach 2


(West Indies 67-4) Another to Leach! 6 more needed for England.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian England’s Ollie Pope (left) and wicket keeper Ben Foakes successfully appeals for the wicket of West Indies’ Jermaine Blackwood. Photograph: Ricardo Mazalán/AP



44th over: West Indies 79-4 (Bonner 5, Holder 7) Stokes continues. The sun beats down. I hope he’s got his factor fifty on. England need one here but despite his best efforts, as per, there’s nowt doing.



43rd over: West Indies 78-4 (Bonner 5, Holder 6) Woakes wheels his way back into the attack. He’s zoning in on the off peg. Foakes is stood up to the stumps and displays some rapid glovework as he takes one and plinks off the bails in one smooth movement. No dice, but my my it does look lovely. Call me old fashioned but I do like to see a true gloveman at work. Just a single to Holder off the over.



42nd over: West Indies 77-4 (Bonner 5, Holder 5) Bonner continues to defy England in this match, despite Stokes’ best efforts. He blocks and blunts but also plays an effective pull shot to an effort ball from Stokes that just about creeps into the boundary rope. Stokes follows that up with a vicious climber of a delivery that Bonner does well to fend off wide of Gully. These two are just taking the sting out of England a little.



41st over: West Indies 73-4 (Bonner 1, Holder 5) A big shout for lbw but Umpire Brathwaite says no! And he’s right, the ball sliding down past the leg stump. Leach’s had numerous ones go like that, if he could just get the ball to straighten an iota then he’d be in business. England decide, wisely, not to burn their final review. Another maiden for Leach, who is twirling away with a lovely flow.



40th over: West Indies 73-4 (Bonner 1, Holder 5) Holder picks up a single off the returning Stokes. Root needs to be careful not to let Stokes bowl into the ‘red zone’ here in pursuit of an elusive Test win.

Pete Salmon whangs an email over:

“England pressing for a win, Leach leading the attack, partnerships of 200, tons to Root and Crawley! Alex Lees must be thinking Test cricket is pretty easy.”

I’m not so sure Pete, cricket famously being both a team and individual game – Lees will no doubt be happy with the team performance but there’ll be plenty of nagging, doubting thoughts swirling around his mind after two failures with the blade.



39th over: West Indies 72-4 (Bonner 1, Holder 4) Leach, pate glistening in the late evening sun, sends down another maiden. Bonner does break character thought to have a big swipe across to leg, he misses but the ball was sliding down past the stumps. Something I said, Nkrumah?



38th over: West Indies 72-4 (Bonner 1, Holder 4) Hold up – Bonner does now get off the mark from his 34th delivery! Ben Foakes is imploring Overton with numerous “Nice one Craig-o” or “that’s it Craig-boy”. Not a lot you can do with a Craig is there?



37th over: West Indies 68-4 (Bonner 0, Holder 1) Jason holder gets each away for a single. Bonner, by the way, is doing his best limpet impression – he’s yet to score off any of his 31 deliveries so far.

“Hi James,”

Hello Kevin Tong!

“Greetings from Singapore!! It’s 3 a.m. here and I can’t sleep so there’s nothing better to do than follow the OBO!! Thanks for great coverage!!

If Jack Leach can get 8 wickets here to add to his 2 in the first innings he could get a 10-fer!! I know it’s wishful thinking, but that would be awesome, just reward for his tireless bowling efforts.”

Good on ya Kevin, who needs sleep anyway?



36th over: West Indies 67-4 (Bonner 0, Holder 0) Overton rolls down another maiden.

“That was extremely terrible” > “Why did he do that?”

— Nick Friend (@NickFriend1) March 12, 2022

Well, quite.



35th over: West Indies 67-4 (Bonner 0, Holder 0) A terrible swipe across the line to a straight ball from Leach brings about the end for Blackwood. Maybe he was going for the runs?! Whatever, it was not pretty. Jason Holder is the new man. England have a lot of men around the bat, Root is on the attack and this game is alive.



34th over: West Indies 65-3 (Bonner 0, Blackwood 0) Overton begins after tea and he starts his new spell with a maiden. Leach is going to whirl away at the other end. The spinner has been cut a rather beleaguered figure for the past few years, can he bowl England to victory in this final session?

How do you think this game is going to pan out? Do get in touch – by email or on Twitter and keep me company for the next couple of hours*.

*Needy much?

Video: Will Macpherson reacts to England West Indies Test 1 Day 3 (Evening Standard)

That’s Tea.


West Indies 65-3. England need 7 wickets. West Indies need to survive the final session. There are 38 overs left in the day.

Wicket! Brooks ct Crawley b Leach (West Indies 65-3)


Another wicket to Leach! Great tumbling catch by Zak Crawley at slip as Brooks pokes at the final ball of Leach’s over and Crawley gets down very well for such a tall man, scooping the ball up before it can graze the turf. England are just tip-tap-tapping on the door. Let’s see if they can go full ‘Jack Torrance’ after the tea break. Back in a few.

33rd over: West Indies 65-3 (Bonner 0)

WICKET! Brathwaite lbw b Stokes 33 (West Indies 59-1)


Ben Stokes (who else?!) gets the breakthrough! A full ball speared into the pads and Brathwaite misses it! Joel Wilson raises the finger and after a brief conflab Brathwaite accepts the decision and walks off! It would have stayed out on Umpire’s Call as the ball was clipping leg stump. Stokes looks loose all of a sudden and has his dander up, he beats Brook’s outside edge with one that holds its line. A wicket maiden. Chapeau Ben Stokes.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian England’s Ben Stokes celebrates after taking the wicket of West Indies’ Kraigg Brathwaite. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters

26th over: West Indies 59-1 (Brooks 0, Campbell 22)

Wicket! Campbell ct Overton b Leach 22 (West Indies 59-2)


27th over: West Indies 59-2 (Brooks 0, Campbell 22)Leach gets Campbell! JC opens the shoulders and tries to plop ‘the Nut’ over mid on but Craig Overton is there to pluck the ball out of the sky. Windies are two down now and the pressure just ramps up slightly.

A wicket maiden for Leach. He’s deserved that scalp after a few close calls and looks more threatening with each over.



28th over: West Indies 59-2 (Brooks 0, Bonner 0) A tidy maiden from Stokes.

England had sub Matt Fisher at mid-on – always likely to be an important position for Leach to Campbell – until two balls before that wicket. Smart thinking to put Overton there, great hands and a huge guy.

— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) March 12, 2022



29th over: West Indies 59-2 (Brooks 0, Bonner 0) Leach sends down another maiden. England keeping the pressure on the two new batsmen.

Colum Fordham pings an email in:

“Jim, I’m pleased to see Root being so bold with his declaration. Maybe he’s been in touch with Eoin Morgan, the new virtual england management guru. I think Leach could be a major factor if he bowls as well as he did in the first innings on an old, drying pitch. Game on!”

Agree Colum, it was a competitive declaration by Root, I wonder how many times the name Shai Hope has whirred through his mind so far today though?



30th over: West Indies 60-2 (Brooks 0, Bonner 0) Brooks gets off the mark by poking a single through backward point. It’s the only run off Stokes’ over.



31st over: West Indies 60-2 (Brooks 0, Bonner 0) Leach sends down another maiden. Manna from heaven for the OBO scrawler. There are 40 overs left in the day. England need 8 more wickets, you’d think the 226 runs needed is now not on the Windies radar? Another couple of wickets and England will feel they have a sniff, if the runs aren’t in danger then Root can bring his fielders in and add pressure that way too. Could get quite fun later on.



32nd over: West Indies 61-2 (Brooks 0, Bonner 0) Another maiden from Stokes but there’s a no ball to give West Indies one more to their total.



8th over: West Indies 13-0 (Brathwaite 10, Campbell 2) Another two for Brathwaite, clipped off his legs as Leach drifts in with the breeze. And then Campbell is dropped by Crawley – not a bad effort at all, as he had to run back from slip to try and grab a top edge that was swirling over his shoulder. Leach did well to deceive Campbell, or to lure him into a big yahoo. Joe Root, by the way, is off the field, so Ben Stokes is in charge.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian Zak Crawley of England fails to hold up to a catch from John Campbell of the West Indies. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images



25th over: West Indies 59-0 (Brathwaite 33, Campbell 22) Leach twirls away and joins the dots. He sneaks one past Brathwaite’s flick to leg and it hits the opener in front of leg stump. England go up confidently! The umpire says no dice but Root sends it upstairs. Umpires call on the line and so remains NOT OUT on the field. A probing maiden from Leach.

That one was mighty close, but John Starbuck isn’t happy with Root’s first wasted review:

“Jim… people reckoned Broad couldn’t captain because of his DRS impetuosity, but there we see Root doing it too. Maybe they should all be sent on the Umpire Training Course for DRS efficiency.”



24th over: West Indies 58-0 (Brathwaite 32, Campbell 22) Stokes looks rather stiff legged in his first over. Steve Harmison on BT comms thinks he has a blister on his big toe. Good intel from big Steve. The ginger titan bangs a few in short but they sail harmlessly over the head of Campbell. West Indies pick up a couple of singles and a leg bye.



23rd over: West Indies 55-0 (Brathwaite 32, Campbell 21) A quiet over from Leach, especially compared to his last. Ben Stokes is coming on to bowl, can he be the man to prise this game open?



22nd over: West Indies 54-0 (Brathwaite 31, Campbell 19) The fifty partnership comes up between this opening pair as Brathwaite flicks Root off his pads for a couple. There is then a big appeal for lbw but it looks leg-side-ish to me… Root sends it upstairs but it doesn’t have much going for it – the ball hitting glove before pad and then squirting away. Not the best review that, Joe.



21st over: West Indies 49-0 (Brathwaite 28, Campbell 19) Wonder what was in that drink?! Second ball after drinks Campbell smears Leach into the off side with a big old heave ho, the ball landing just over Stokes’ shoulder as he tracks back. Yikes. The very next ball Campbell drives Leach elegantly through the covers, on the up, for four. Paul Collingwood looks on, a wry smile creeping across his chops. This ain’t over yet.



20th over: West Indies 43-0 (Brathwaite 28, Campbell 13) Joe Root brings himself on, sun glinting off his Alice band. There’s just one off the over to Campbell. Root does get one to glide past the edge and Foakes does his velvet glove thing behind the sticks, whipping off the bails in a flash but Brathwaite’s back foot is safely grounded. The players are off for a drink. Back in a couple. Who’s is out there following? Do we reckon Win/Lose/Draw? Do hit me up on the email or the twitters.



19th over: West Indies 42-0 (Brathwaite 28, Campbell 12) “WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT!?” drawls Gower on comms as Leach bowls a length ball that is met by an almighty mooooo by the West Indies skipper. Ian Bishop can’t believe it either. So much for that draw. He misses completely and the ball skims over the stumps. Leach joins the dots for the rest of the over until a full ball is whipped away through mid-wicket by Brathwaite. Safe to say that was a much better shot.



18th over: West Indies 38-0 (Brathwaite 24, Campbell 12) Woakes is on the button until he drags one wide that is slashed away for three through point by Brathwaite, largely thanks to a misfield from Alex Lees. A tough game for the debutant. Leach is going to twirl away from the other end.



17th over: West Indies 34-0 (Brathwaite 21, Campbell 11) Overton chugs away but it looks very dead out there. David Gower on comms thinks that West Indies have decided to shut up shop. I’m not so sure though, not yet. There are still 54 overs left in the day if we get them all in. Plenty of time for a late onslaught if there are wickets in hand. A couple off it.



16th over: West Indies 32-0 (Brathwaite 20, Campbell 10) Thanks Tim and hello OBO. Straight down to brass tacks –Woakes comes back into the attack to replace Leach. His very first ball is a gnats leg away from the off stump as Brathwaite lets it go. I guess you’d call it a good leave. A leg bye brings Campbell on strike. He squirts one into the leg side to pick up two.



loving that Leachy good stuff Leachy quick bang bang here Leachy bowling Leachy give it a rip Leachy good revs Leachy top areas Leachy lovely pace Leachy don’t mind seeing that Leachy niiice Leachy little top-edge here Leachy low hands here Leachy great bounce Leachy yes Leachy

— Scott Oliver (@reverse_sweeper) March 12, 2022



15th over: West Indies 29-0 (Brathwaite 20, Campbell 8) Overton continues, keeping it tight. The cameras find Andrew Strauss, in shades and sky-blue linen shirt. England are not making things happen as they would have hoped. And that’s me done. Thanks for your company and it’s over to Jim Wallace to talk you through what could still be a gripping denouement.



14th over: West Indies 27-0 (Brathwaite 19, Campbell 7) Leach finds enough turn out of the rough to rap Campbell on the pad, but he’s well down the track and outside the line. Root is back out there, leaving us none the wiser as to why he went off.



13th over: West Indies 26-0 (Brathwaite 19, Campbell 6) Overton, perhaps sensing that armchair critics are being rude about him, bends his back and bowls a sharp bouncer to Campbell, who shapes to hook before deciding that discretion is the better part of valour. Just a single off the over. If West Indies are tempted by this target, they must be planning to build a solid platform first.

Wicket! Foakes b Joseph 1 (England 314-6)


Another one! Foakes drags on going for a big drive. I thought I was joking about the collapse, but England have now lost four for 19 in 23 balls. It could be a blessing in disguise, moving the game along nicely. They lead by 250.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian Ben Foakes of England is bowled by Alzarri Joseph of West Indies. Photograph: Randy Brooks/AFP/Getty Images



11th over: West Indies 21-0 (Brathwaite 15, Campbell 5) Another tidy over from Overton, another single to each batter. It was an enterprising declaration by Root, but England don’t really have the bowling to go with it. Woakes and Overton are medium-pacers by Test standards, and Leach is a finger spinner. England know that you need high pace and mystery spin to win Tests overseas, but with Wood unfit and Parkinson twiddling his thumbs, they don’t have any of either. Get Stokes on! And Lawrence!



12th over: West Indies 25-0 (Brathwaite 19, Campbell 5) Another glimmer for Leach as Brathwaite doesn’t get hold of a chip, but it goes safely over mid-off and trickles away for four. West Indies need 261 off 59 overs.



10th over: West Indies 19-0 (Brathwaite 14, Campbell 4) Leach now has just two men in close, a slip and a short leg, with a third catcher at silly mid-on, ten yards back (Overton). A nice place to field, I seem to remember from the Under-10s – you have a bit of time to see the ball. Brathwaite takes it as a challenge and advances to loft Leach over both the mid-ons, silly or not.



9th over: West Indies 14-0 (Brathwaite 10, Campbell 3) Woakes, who bowled four overs for eight, is replaced by his fellow tearaway, Craig Overton. Just a single from the over, and West Indies need 272 off 62 overs, so the rate is creeping up towards four and a half.



7th over: West Indies 9-0 (Brathwaite 7, Campbell 1) Runs! Two of them, as Brathwaite goes up on his toes to punch past Stokes at extra-cover. He enjoys it so much, he tries it again, for just a single. West Indies need 277 off 64 overs.



6th over: West Indies 5-0 (Brathwaite 4, Campbell 1) Leach gets a go at Brathwaite for the first time, so he can come round the wicket. Again there are three close fielders, again no silly point. And again it’s a maiden. No threat yet, though: Root may be wishing he had Matt Parkinson up his sleeve.



5th over: West Indies 5-0 (Brathwaite 4, Campbell 1) Woakes continues and Foakes goes up for a catch as he pulls off a neat take down the leg side. Woakes shakes his head, saying it’s off Brathwaite’s pad, and he rightly persuades Root not to review.

“When it’s a tie,” says Richard Hirst, “can I nominate Lawrence and Bonner for the super over? That would be fun.” It would. And they could each bowl to each other.

Wicket!! Crawley b Holder 121 (England 225-2)


The breakthrough! And it’s a great piece of bowling. Jason Holder sees Crawley itching to press on and goes into one-day mode himself, delivering a looping slower-ball yorker that sneaks under Crawley’s bat and clatters into the stumps.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian Zak Crawley is bowled by a slower ball from Jason Holder. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters
First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian Crawley heads back to the pavilion after making a classy 121. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters

A hundred to Root!


A typical dab to third man and Joe Root has his 24th Test hundred – but his first since last August. He doffs his helmet and shows his Alice band, which is not something you could ever say about Len Hutton. He has played almost invisibly well, taking dozens of singles and twos, hitting only six fours, letting Crawley and Lawrence have most of the strike. A captain’s innings.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian Joe Root celebrates reaching his century. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images/Reuters

Wicket! Root b Joseph 109 (England 310-4)


Another one! Root gets a touch too frisky, skips across his stumps, and is bowled by a reverse-swinging yorker. Well done Alzarri Joseph, and well done Joe Root too – back in form after a seven-innings slump.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian England captain Joe Root is bowled round his legs by Alzarri Joseph. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images



84th over: England 322-6 (Bairstow 5, Woakes 5) Bairstow, who had to dive to survive when Foakes sent him back a few minutes ago, hasn’t let that stop him running with his usual boyish delight. Woakes is on his wavelength as they take four singles and a two off this over from Roach.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian Bairstow dives to make his ground and just survives as a direct hit comes in. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England declare! On 349-6


88.2 overs: England 349-6 (Bairstow 15, Woakes 18) Root waves them in in mid-over, and has to keep waving, like an embarrassing dad at the Under-15s, as neither batter notices him at first. But off they trot, and England have added 132 in 25 overs today – good purposeful stuff, led by a livewire 37 from Dan Lawrence. West Indies need 286 to win from 70 overs.

First Test ends in a draw as West Indies blunt England attack – as it happened
© Provided by The Guardian Jonny Bairstow (left) and Chris Woakes leave the field as England declare. Photograph: Ricardo Mazalán/AP



2nd over: West Indies 4-0 (Brathwaite 3, Campbell 1) Leach is in action partly because Campbell is a left-hander, the only West Indian with some rough outside his off stump for Leach to aim at. With three catchers – but no silly point – Leach has an LBW shout, turned down because Campbell has danced outside the line. That’s a maiden, to add to Leach’s collection from the first innings.

Lunch: the openers survive


4th over: West Indies 4-0 (Brathwaite 3, Campbell 1) Still no silly point for Leach. If Jos Buttler was still there, I suspect there would be one. Bowling to Campbell again, Leach is tidy but not threatening. And that’s lunch, with West Indies surviving easily enough so far. They need another 282 off 67 overs at a rate of 4.2. Perfectly possible – but the morning belonged to England, and especially to Root and Lawrence, who have set up what could just be a cracking finish. See you in 35 minutes.



3rd over: West Indies 4-0 (Brathwaite 3, Campbell 1) Woakes beats Brathwaite outside off. Otherwise he finds some swing, but it’s not late enough to be hard to play. I was wrong about the single over of spin before lunch: there’s time for one more.



Ooh. Jack Leach is going to take the new ball, for the first time outside the subcontinent. It’s a neat spin on an old trick: giving the spinner one over before lunch.



1st over: West Indies 4-0 (Brathwaite 3, Campbell 1) It’s Chris Woakes, going straight from batter to bowler. Joe Root takes himself out of the slips for once and stands at mid-off, as Michael Vaughan once did. Kraigg Brathwaite, unfazed by having ten minutes to survive till lunch, strokes an on-drive for three, and West Indies are up with the required run rate already.



The players are out there, without Mark Wood, as feared. Ollie Pope takes his place.



88th over: England 344-6 (Bairstow 11, Woakes 17) Holder drifts onto Woakes’s pads and kicks himself as it’s an easy flick for four. A few more singles and the lead is 280, so the target is now four an over. Come on Joe, have a go.



83rd over: England 316-6 (Bairstow 3, Woakes 1) Joseph is bowling really well and he gives Woakes a beauty first ball, reversing the reverse to move the ball away, past the outside edge. But Woakes survives and England lead by 252.

There are 76 overs left, at least in theory, so England won’t be getting a second new ball. But then they didn’t expect to, and this flurry of strokes has opened the door to a declaration before lunch – maybe in 15 minutes, with another 20 on the board. That would allow the new-ball pair, Woakes and Overton, to terrorise the Windies’ openers with a burst of fierce medium pace.



87th over: England 337-6 (Bairstow 10, Woakes 11) Joseph is now in his ninth over of this spell, which may be one too many, but he keeps the batters honest, restricting them to singles.

“Good to see Dan Lawrence pushing it along,” said Brian Withington, before the clatter of wickets “Would be such a bonus for England if he can grow into the number 4 role, with Joe Root happier now at 3. Would love to see him and Jonny Bairstow running between wickets – makes such a difference to tempo of an innings when batters really put fielders under pressure.”



86th over: England 332-6 (Bairstow 8, Woakes 8) Jason Holder is back and he reckons he’s got Woakes caught behind, gloving a nasty lifter, but Joel Wilson sees that it’s actually off the shoulder, so West Indies review in vain. And they are out of reviews, not that it will cost them much. Five off the over and the lead is 268, with 72 overs for West Indies to bat. Root and Collingwood may be waiting for the target to go above four an over.



85th over: England 327-6 (Bairstow 5, Woakes 6) Joseph overdoes the reverse swing and concedes another set of four byes. Extras, such a steady performer for England, now have 29 in this innings, 15 of them in byes. Joe Root, on the England balcony next to Paul Collingwood, has his thinking cap on as well as his Alice band.

Wicket! Stokes c Brooks b Roach 13 (England 312-5)


Stokes, going for a big mow, gets a top edge to a slower ball and gives Shamarh Brooks an easy catch at mid-off. The collapse has begun.



81st over: England 312-4 (Stokes 13, Bairstow 1) So, a good decision by Kraigg Brathwaite not to take the new ball, as the old one offers enough movement to defeat a top player. Joseph began the over with a full toss, which Stokes clubbed for four. Jonny Bairstow, who came in at 48 for four on the first day, saunters in at 310-4 now, and clips a suitably comfy single. Root had a word with him on the rope, presumably to say “Another 30 will do it.”



80th over: England 305-3 (Root 109, Stokes 8) Root digs out a yorker and there’s a lovely moment as two fielders converge on the ball. They both do a little dance, adroitly avoiding each other, but also eluding the ball, which sits there patiently, waiting for one of them to pick it up. Then Root, finally getting frisky, is almost caught at long leg. He still has only six fours, which shows you how well Crawley did to hit 16 off a similar number of deliveries.

“England’s management,” says Matt Emerson, briskly. “Two words needed not 1200: Eoin Morgan.” Ha. There’s a lot of truth in that.



75th over: England 272-2 (Root 100, Lawrence 26) So Root moves clear of Kevin Pietersen (23) on the list of all-time England Test ton-collectors, with only Alastair Cook ahead (on 33). And England have three centurions in a match for the first time since 2016 – a Test in Rajkot, India, where Root was joined by Stokes and Moeen Ali.



79th over: England 300-3 (Root 107, Stokes 5) Ben Stokes, coming into a more luxurious setting than he is used to, is surprised to find that there isn’t even a slip, so he dabs his first ball for four. The lead is 236.

Wicket! Lawrence c Permaul b Joseph 37 (England 295-3)


Curse of the commentator! Lawrence tries one fancy-Dan shot too many and slices straight to backward point. But he’s done his job superbly, stroking 37 off 36 balls and adding 70 with Root.



78th over: England 294-2 (Root 106, Lawrence 37) When your luck is out, it’s really out. West Indies concede another set of four byes as Permaul aims into the rough, Root misses a sweep and Da Silva is nutmegged. A few singles and then Lawrence plays a gorgeous lofted off-drive for four. England’s new-look top four looked flaky, and was in the first innings, but Crawley and Lawrence have repaid the management’s faith.



77th over: England 283-2 (Root 103, Lawrence 33) Alzarri Joseph decides the ball to bowl is the yorker, and gets both batters hopping about without troubling the timbers.

Here’s John Starbuck, picking up on Andrew Benton’s question from the 74th over. “Chaps? Chaps?” he splutters. “I’d like to see a few women running the ECB and England sides, as they tend to have less baggage, metaphorically speaking.” I quite agree. If there has to be a “director” of England cricket, they should cover both genders. And all the way up to the board, there should be as warm a welcome for women as for men.



76th over: England 279-2 (Root 101, Lawrence 31) Kraigg Brathwaite, not knowing which way to turn until the new ball, turns to his spinner, Veerasammy Permaul, who had a torrid time yesterday. He comes over the wicket and Lawrence asserts himself instantly, reverse-sweeping the first ball for four. That’s the fifty partnership – 51 off only eight overs. England lead by 215.



An email! “How do you see England’s management developing over the next year or so?” asks Andrew Benton. “Strauss is in for a bit, but what will they do in the longer term – what are the options, and who are the chaps likely to be under consideration?” A question in return, Andrew: are you a sports editor in disguise? That’s not a talking point – it’s a 1200-word piece, with a sidebar on the runners and riders.



74th over: England 269-2 (Root 99, Lawrence 25) Another bowling change: with the new ball six overs away, Holder takes a break and Jayden Seales comes on. The singles continue, with Lawrence jumping around the crease and Root sticking to the coaching manual. The lead passes 200 and Lawrence celebrates by stepping away to leg again and cutting, deliberately, over the head of extra-cover. That’s drinks with England enjoying another hour in the driving seat. The loss of Crawley made no difference at all: these two have already added 44 off 45 balls.



73rd over: England 263-2 (Root 98, Lawrence 20) Root, facing Joseph, cover-drives for two to go to within one stroke of a hundred. There is a four next ball, but it’s four byes as Joseph, straining for a yorker, serves up a full toss outside leg. A couple more singles, and the lead is 199. Heady stuff after going 64 behind on first innings.



72nd over: England 255-2 (Root 95, Lawrence 19) Holder restores order with three dots to Lawrence – who then hits him for six! After mostly dancing over to the off side, Lawrence pulled away to leg and just swung through the line, depositing the ball just over the Toblerone at long-off. If Root’s England had played like this against New Zealand at Lord’s last June, they wouldn’t have lost that series.



71st over: England 249-2 (Root 95, Lawrence 13) Kraigg Brathwaite takes Roach off and summons Alzarri Joseph, a move that doesn’t start well. Lawrence, running even faster than Root, turns a cut for two into a cut for three. Root takes another comfy single. Joseph bowls a no-ball. Joseph bowls a wide, which is wide even as wides go, though he’s not happy with the call. “Leave the umpiring to me,” says Gregory Brathwaite. It’s all happening.



70th over: England 242-2 (Root 94, Lawrence 9) During that long stand, the commentators kept wondering if England would promote Ben Stokes to have a hit. They were doing a disservice to Dan Lawrence, who doesn’t hang around. He gives Holder the charge, first ball of this over, and chips him over mid-off for the first four of the day. The other five balls all go for a single – and Holder is not easy to score off. England are definitely looking for a declaration.



69th over: England 233-2 (Root 92, Lawrence 2) No fours so far today but Root is running like the wind, and the wind has been strong. He races into the 90s by cutting to the cover sweeper, taking on Permaul’s fine throw, and just managing to get back for two.



68th over: England 227-2 (Root 87, Lawrence 1) Dan Lawrence gets off the mark with a Crawley-ish shot, going onto off stump and flicking to fine leg. So Crawley made 121 off 216 balls, with 16 fours, and his partnership with Root was 201 off 57.1 overs. It was England’s fifth stand of 200+ in the past four years.

The 200 partnership!


67th over: England 223-1 (Crawley 120, Root 86) Root, facing Roach, eases into a square drive that only gets a single as there’s a sweeper out. Crawley cuts in the same direction to bring up the double-century partnership. It’s been immense.



66th over: England 222-1 (Crawley 120, Root 85) Bonner is replaced by Jason Holder, who is convinced he’s got Crawley LBW as he comes down the track and misses an on-drive. Joel Wilson shakes his head, also with conviction. Holder reviews, but the impact is umpire’s call and the ball is going down anyway. Crawley takes a single and the screen shows his stats. He’s averaging 30 now, which is much the same as all the other top-order contenders. The difference is that Crawley gets his runs faster and is more likely to grab the initiative.



65th over: England 220-1 (Crawley 119, Root 84) At the other end it’s a proper bowler, Kemar Roach. He goes full, presumably in search of reverse swing. Crawley pushes him to mid-on, sets off for a quick single and would be out by yards if Jermaine Blackwood, with three stumps to aim at, had managed to hit them. Still, it shows that England are going to be purposeful.



64th over: England 219-1 (Crawley 118, Root 84) Sure enough, Bonner starts with a no-ball, but then he settles and reels off some dots to Zak Crawley, who is watchful until he gets a short one and eases it to long-off for a single. The England fans in the stands sing Jerusalem, still glowing from their dies mirabilis.



The players are out there and so is the sun. Nkrumah Bonner has an over to finish, which, since he has already bowled two no-balls in it, may take some doing.

Just a guy, talking to a road


On BT Sport, the outstanding Mark Butcher is doing the pitch report. He ends it by addressing the surface directly: “Wake up! Wake up!” A case of perfect pitch.

Behind the scenes with Warne


While we’re on the subject of Shane Warne, as we have been pretty much ever since he died, there’s a tremendous tribute on the Sydney Morning Herald site. It’s a photo essay by Mark Ray, who is probably the best photographer ever to have had a day job a cricket writer. Covering Australia’s tours, he got close enough to Warne to capture him off duty and off guard, lost in thought or making a cheese sandwich. The pictures feel like a book waiting to happen.

Preamble: of puddings and planets


Afternoon everyone and welcome to the final act of a curious drama. It’s almost certainly heading for a draw, and yet, most of the time, it has been far from a bore.

On a pudding of a pitch, both teams managed to collapse in their first innings before staging a recovery. West Indies’ rearguard was painfully slow, albeit impressive in terms of mental strength. Their obduracy nearly smothered the game, only for it to spring back to life in the unlikely hands of England’s top order, so often a basket case themselves.

A score of 217-1 would normally be a big yawn, but, for Joe Root, it could just be the fresh start he is desperately seeking. As nearly all those runs have been made by Root himself and Zak Crawley, it’s been a treat to watch – a welcome departure from the plodding passivity of the Silverwood era.

Like Jonny Bairstow, and unlike Nkrumah Bonner, Root and Crawley have been good enough to go through the gears. After tea they somehow rattled along at five an over: doing that at the Viv is like going at ten an over on most Test grounds. Moving the game along, making things happen, putting pressure back on the bowlers: if only Shane Warne had still been with us, he would have loved it.

According to CricViz, there’s now a 19pc chance of a result (England 18, West Indies 1). How would it happen, exactly? England would have to keep bustling along and then be brave with a declaration, using an extended morning to set a target of something like 270 in two sessions. Jack Leach, who went from bad to decent in the first innings, would have to be at his exacting best; Root and Dan Lawrence would have to fiddle a wicket or two with their slow allsorts. With Mark Wood unfit, there might be a fiery old-ball burst from Ben Stokes, sore foot permitting, and some canny Darren Gough cutters from the improbable new-ball pair of Woakes and Overton.

OK, on reflection, a lot of planets would have to be in alignment. But if a sports lover can’t dream, who can? And when you look up England’s most effective bowlers in the fourth innings over the past four years, the top three by average, ahead of Broad and Anderson, are Woakes, Leach and Stokes.

Play starts at 9.30am in Antigua, 1.30pm GMT, to make up for the time lost to rain, so do join me then to see if this new England really mean business.

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