Recent Match Report – England vs West Indies 1st Test 2021/22



Zak Crawley nears fifty after Alex Lees falls in single figures again

Lunch England 311 and 72 for 1 (Crawley 45*, Root 20*) lead West Indies 375 (Bonner 123, Brathwaite 55) by 8 runs

Kemar Roach once again struck early as England set about overhauling a 64-run first-innings deficit in the first Test in Antigua.

At lunch on the fourth day, England had moved back into the lead with Zak Crawley looking solid but not before Roach had dismissed debutant opener Alex Lees in similar fashion to the first innings, lbw in single figures, to put the tourists at 24 for 1, still 40 runs behind.

On this occasion, Roach, who was getting considerable swing with the new ball, set Lees up with a series of deliveries that moved away from the left-hander before banging one in full and straight to beat the inside edge and slam into the front pad. Lees reviewed, perhaps in hope after seeing batting partner Crawley successfully overturn an lbw decision from umpire Gregory Brathwaite in the first over, only to have it confirmed that the ball was crashing into leg stump.

Crawley was yet to score when he was reprieved the first time, with Hawk-Eye showing the ball was missing leg stump by some way. He had moved to 18 when West Indies burned a review shortly after Lees’ dismissal when Crawley was adjudged not out to a Roach inswinger that hit him high on the back leg outside off stump.

In between whiles, Crawley built steadily, pulling the short ball to the boundary with authority and picking off back-to-back fours off Veerasammy Permaul with a cut and a sweep late in the session to move to 45 not out, with Joe Root unbeaten at the other end on 20.

Earlier, Jack Leach picked up the final West Indies wicket with the third ball of the day. Just two runs – byes – were added to West Indies’ overnight score before Leach trapped Jayden Seales lbw for an eight-ball duck with one that struck the back leg in line with middle and off. Seales had played inside the line but chanced a review, unsuccessfully.

England couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the penultimate day, having endured a tough time in the field on Thursday when they went a bowler down through an elbow injury to Mark Wood and Nkruma Bonner ground out an attritional 123 over the course of nine hours and 355 balls.

Bonner had lifted the home side from a mini collapse to 127 for 4 after Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell’s 83-run opening stand. He shared partnerships in the 70s with Jason Holder and Joshua Da Silva as well as valuable 40-plus stands with Roach and Permaul to rebuild the innings.

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo


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