2nd Test: West Indies hold out for draw as England fall five wickets short | Cricket News



West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite was again a gigantic roadblock that England could not dislodge as the second Test ended in a tense draw in Barbados on Sunday.
England declared in enough time to give themselves 65 overs to bowl out West Indies a second time and picked up five wickets inside 45 overs, including three by spinner Jack Leach.
But a singing Barmy Army in typically good voice could not quite inspire the visitors across the finish line as West Indies finished on 135 for five.
Though England were the better team overall, the match will be best remembered for the remarkable batting performances by Brathwaite.
After stoically occupying the crease for almost 12 hours in scoring 160 from 489 balls in the first innings, he was there at the bitter end on Sunday, unconquered on 56, having spent all but about one hour on the field over five long days.

“The pitch at times with the harder ball was difficult, but I stuck to my plans, which was to play as straight and late as possible,” Brathwaite said.
“I’ve put in a lot of work through the years and to do it at home for me is a pleasing feeling with my family here. I’m very happy and thankful.”
Joe Root acknowledged the performance of his counterpart.
“Kraigg played brilliantly again,” said the England captain.
A 282-run victory target was never a realistic possibility for West Indies in a contest that followed a remarkably similar trajectory to the first Test.

England declared setting West Indies a winning target of 286 from 71 overs in that contest in Antigua which was ultimately drawn.
A week later England picked up three wickets inside 13 overs, and later got their fifth wicket when Leach had Jason Holder caught for a 24-ball duck in the 45th over, at which point the visitors must have fancied their chances.
However, wicketkeeper Joshua Da Silva, whose batting average is a respectable 26, proved a good foil for Brathwaite, surviving unbeaten on 30, as Leach and part-time spinner Dan Lawrence could not make another breakthrough.
While Brathwaite continued to defend with the straightest of bats, Da Silva gleefully dispatched bad balls to the boundary as the close-in legside fielders ducked for cover.

Leach finished with 3-36 from 25 overs, while Test newcomer Saqib Mahmood got the other two wickets, making it four for the match.
“We made three brilliant breakthroughs but just unfortunately couldn’t quite kick on,” Root said.
Earlier on Sunday, England declared their second innings at 185 for six at lunch, though some wondered why the decision was not made earlier, with the target already seemingly well beyond the capabilities of the hosts.
West Indies had trailed by 96 runs after the first innings on Saturday.
The third and final Test in the series starts in Grenada on Thursday.

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