England in West Indies: Tourists build 136-run first-innings lead but draw looks likely in second Test after exhausting fourth day | Cricket News

West Indies add just 123 runs in two-and-a-half sessions before being bowled out for 411, England’s bowlers racking up a massive 187.5 overs; Saqib Mahmood (2-58) claims his maiden Test wicket; England close on 40-0 in their second innings, with a lead of 136

Last Updated: 03/19/22 10:35pm

England captain Joe Root celebrates with spinner Jack Leach, who took 3-118 while bowling a staggering 69.5 first-innings overs

England captain Joe Root celebrates with spinner Jack Leach, who took 3-118 while bowling a staggering 69.5 first-innings overs

The second Test between the West Indies and England appears destined for a draw after another exhausting day for the touring side in the field in Barbados, England closing with a lead of 136 and all 10 second-innings wickets in hand heading into the final day.

On a much-criticised placid pitch, the West Indies batters – led by captain Kraigg Brathwaite (160 off 489 balls) and his remarkable feats of concentration – again blunted the England attack for two and a half sessions, adding only 123 runs in 70.5 overs in a dreary day’s play before finally being bundled out for 411.

It earned England a first-innings lead of 96 and left them with 17 overs to negotiate through to the close; Alex Lees (18no) and Zak Crawley (21no) progressed their score to 40-0, and though the tourists will likely target a declaration at some point on day five, taking a further 10 wickets on this pitch which has produced just 19 across the first four days will likely prove too tall an order – especially with a massive 187.5 overs worth of work already in their weary bowlers’ legs.

Leach with staggering workload on day four

Jack Leach (3-118) had the biggest workload of them all, racking up a staggering 69.5 overs in the West Indies’ first innings. Having copped a fair bit of criticism for the speeds at which he bowled on Friday, Leach offered up more variation on day four and deserved greater rewards for his efforts in which he conceded just 21 runs from his 25.5 overs, which included 13 maidens.

He did bag himself two wickets, including the key one of Brathwaite, ripping one past his outside edge to clip the top of off stump shortly after the third new ball had been taken, while he returned to wrap up the innings by trapping Josh Da Silva (33) lbw.

Mahmood maiden strike gives England hope

Saqib Mahmood celebrates after finally bagging his first Test wicket, Jason Holder caught at mid-on for 12

Saqib Mahmood celebrates after finally bagging his first Test wicket, Jason Holder caught at mid-on for 12

Beginner Saqib Mahmood (2-58) finally claimed his first career Test wicket in dismissing Jason Holder (12) two balls after the lunch interval. The Lancashire fast bowler, who was denied his maiden breakthrough on day three when bowling Jermaine Blackwood (102) off a no-ball when on 65, then nearly celebrated two in as many overs as Da Silva was given out lbw for three, only for the decision to be overturned on review with a faint inside edge shown.

Had that decision stood, England might still have sniffed an opportunity to force victory in the Test match as the West Indies would have been seven down and still trailing by 151 runs. Instead, Da Silva regrouped and, along with Brathwaite and the tail, hung around for a further 34 overs, taking crucial time out of the game.

Brathwaite with seventh-longest Test knock for West Indies

With the West Indies resuming the day on 288-4, after the first of a handful of intermittent morning showers delayed the start to proceedings at the Kensington Oval, Brathwaite and nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph (19) hinted at the torment that was to come for England in the field as they put on 52 for the fifth wicket.

The golden arm of Ben Stokes (2-65) finally made the breakthrough, Joseph (19) edging a sharp chance to gully, smartly taken by Dan Lawrence. But, far from prompt a collapse or a lower-order surge from the home side, the action was soporific leading into lunch as only 11 runs were added in the 14 overs leading into the interval.

England were buoyed by the immediate dismissal of Holder to the second ball after the break – Matt Fisher doing brilliantly to hold a skier at mid-on to secure a first Test strike for his fellow debutant Mahmood.

Da Silva’s inside edge denied him a second in as many overs, the West Indies wicketkeeper particularly fortunate as he seemingly was unaware he’d got bat on ball given how long it took him to review the decision.

He and Brathwaite ate up a further 17 overs, blunting an England attack that was required to claim a third new ball at the 160-over mark. Stokes bowled beautifully with it without reward, and ultimately it was Leach who made it pay, bowling Brathwaite with a beauty to end his epic 710-minute vigil.

Chris Woakes (1-51), who continues to toil on overseas tours with England, claimed a first wicket personally for 52 overs as he trapped Kemar Roach (1) lbw, while Mahmood and Leach accounted for Veerasammy Permaul (5) and Da Silva , respectively, after the tea interval to finally end the innings.

Chris Woakes had to wait 52 overs for a wicket since his last - Jermaine Blackwood lbw - in the first innings of the first Test

Chris Woakes had to wait 52 overs for a wicket since his last – Jermaine Blackwood lbw – in the first innings of the first Test

Crawley survives late lbw scare

As England’s openers set about their second innings, Crawley survived an lbw scare against Roach when given out for two in the fifth over – the decision overturned on review, the ball shown to be sneaking down leg.

After a nervous start, he and Lees soon got their eye in and the pair did well to progress England’s score to 40 when bad lad brought play to a close two overs early. The tourists’ lead is 136 but time is running out for a result in this second Test of the three-match series.

Mahmood ‘relief’ at claiming first Test wicket

England seamer Saqib Mahmood, speaking on BT Sport: “It’s been a long couple of days in the dirt. It’s my first red-ball game since December and I was glad to get off the field today!”

[On no-ball dismissal of Blackwood]: “I was pretty gutted at the time – I thought I had let myself and the boys down. I tried to get it out of my head, which was quite tough.”

[On maiden Test wicket of Holder]: “There wasn’t a massive celebration from me – I was looking at the wicket to see where my foot landed and whether the umpire would say anything! I guess it was a feeling of relief more than anything after what happened last night.”

Can England still force a victory in second Test?

Former England batsman Mark Butcher: “Time is against England. Yes, they are going to be able to put their foot down with the bat but it has taken them nearly 190 overs to bowl West Indies out in the first innings, so you think they would need at least 80 in the second, which they can’t have.

“So you are either giving the opposition a chance they don’t really deserve, or you say we will go two sessions and see what happens. It all depends on how brave England are willing to be.”

West Indies and England will resume the second Test at 2pm UK time on Sunday. Follow over-by-over text commentary from 1.45pm on skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.

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