الإثنين , يونيو 8 2020

West Indies hold on to deny England

West Indies held on to draw the first Test on the day James Anderson became England’s leading wicket-taker in Test history.

Anderson’s two wickets on the final day in Antigua took his tally to 384,

breaking Sir Ian Botham’s record.

But Jason Holder’s unbeaten 103, his maiden Test century, helped West Indies – set 438 to win – to 350-7.

He added 105 with captain Denesh Ramdin, who scored 57, while Devon Smith made 65.

England’s celebrations at Anderson’s historic achievement were tempered by their failure to prise out more than five wickets in almost 90 overs on the final day.

While the tourists can take heart from dominating much of the game, they have not won a Test away from home in 10 attempts stretching back to 2012.

They were denied by a combination of a lifeless pitch and the defiance shown by Holder, Ramdin and, late in the day, Kemar Roach, who batted for an hour and a quarter for an unbeaten 15.

A couple of rash dismissals aside, West Indies batted with commendable application, and can head to Grenada for Tuesday’s second Test with justified optimism.

Ramdin played a central role, leading the recovery from 155-5 after three wickets fell in a morning session which began with West Indies 98-2.

Devon Smith drove James Tredwell to mid-on to end an otherwise patient 175-ball innings, Anderson had Marlon Samuels taken at gully to take him level with Botham’s record, and Joe Root trapped Shivnarine Chanderpaul lbw as he pushed forward.

Jermaine Blackwell threatened to undermine Ramdin’s efforts when he charged at Chris Jordan and inside-edged to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to depart for 31.

But Holder, whose previous highest first-class score was 52, accompanied his skipper in a largely untroubled seventh-wicket stand spanning 32 overs.

Standing tall and driving straight off front and back foot, Holder struck 15 fours as England captain Alastair Cook rotated his bowlers to little effect either side of tea.

Although he lost Ramdin to a wonderful outswinger which Cook held at first slip to give Anderson the record, Holder and Roach repelled England for the remaining 18 overs of the day.

Holder, on 87, survived a tough caught-and-bowled chance off Tredwell when a drive ricocheted off Gary Ballance’s shin at silly point.

But few in the ground could begrudge him his moment of glory as successive fours down the ground took him to a richly deserved century.

Test Match Special podcast.

Gary Ballance and James Tredwell

James Tredwell, who took 4-47 in the first innings, claimed the first wicket on the final day

Denesh Ramdin

Denesh Ramdin made an unbeaten 107 in his previous Test against England, at Edgbaston in 2012

Jason Holder

Jason Holder’s previous highest first-class score was the 52 he made on Test debut

James Anderson

James Anderson becomes England’s highest Test wicket-taker by removing Denesh Ramdin

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