2nd Test, Bridgetown: England stay in hunt for win
England tried their best to force a result as they put the West Indies under severe pressure in spite of rain interruptions on the final day of the second Test in Bridgetown.
Midway during the second session on Sunday at the Kensington Oval, the Windies were wobbling at 39 for 3 after England declared their second innings at lunch with the scorecard reading 185 for 6. Set a target of 282 in two sessions, the Windies lost John Campbell, Shamarh Brooks and Nkrumah Bonner quickly.
Left-arm spinner Jack Leach accounted for opener Campbell, while debutant Saqib Mahmood picked up both Brooks and Bonner. The onus is again on captain and first innings centurion Kraigg Brathwaite (21 batting) to bail his team out.
Credit certainly goes to the England batsmen and the intent they showed in their second innings after resuming on 40 without loss.
Not letting inclement weather affect their rhythm, England got their next 145 runs in just 24.5 overs, ensuring they availed of most of the scoring opportunities coming their way.
Dan Lawrence hit 41 off just 39 balls, while Jonny Bairstow scored a 25-ball 29 to get quick runs for the visitors. Ben Stokes too hit a four and a maximum to score 19 off only 18 balls as England tried their best to force a result.
Back on Day IV, Brathwaite perished for 160 after batting for nearly 12 hours. He faced 489 balls before his defence was finally breached by Leach with a delivery that turned enough to beat the bat and clip off stump.
Brathwaite’s feat enabled the Windies to compile 411, limiting England’s first innings lead to 96 on a pitch that the visitors’ spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel described as “turgid”.
Brief scores: England 507/9 decl. & 185/6 decl. (D. Lawrence 41). West Indies 411 & 39/3. Midway during second session, Day V.
(Written with agency inputs)