Zak Crawley Ecstatic After Scoring His 2nd Test Ton Against West Indies

Zak Crawley hit his second Test hundred as England dominated West Indies on day four of the first Test to set up an outside chance of victory. Zak Crawley capitalized on a lifeless Antigua pitch to make an unbeaten 117, while captain Joe Root reached 84 not out at the close.

Having started the day behind the game and in the field, England were 217-1, leading by 153 runs, when rain brought an early finish. Earlier they took just three deliveries to claim the final West Indies wicket as the hosts were dismissed for 375 with a first-innings lead of 64.

Zak Crawley made his second Test hundred AFP/Getty Images

Zak Crawley Pleased With His Performance After Scoring An Unbeaten 117 Against West Indies In The 1st Test

A long lean spell of quick dismissals tested the self-belief of batter Zak Crawley, which the relieved England opener acknowledged after scoring an unbeaten century on the fourth day of the first Test against West Indies on Friday.

Zak Crawley stamped himself as potentially a high-order batter to lead England for years to come when he made a home double century against Pakistan in 2020, but that innings total of 267 proved to be a false dawn. He hardly even had a chance to get his eye in before being sent packing, failing to reach double figures in 11 of his 16 subsequent appearances at the crease.

Zak Crawley’s scores brought to mind the experience of former Australian captain Greg Chappell, who once endured a similarly poor spell amid calls that he should be dropped.

Zak Crawley. (Image Credits: Getty)
Zak Crawley. (Image Credits: Getty)

But Greg Chappell said at that time that he was getting out too quickly to know whether or not he was out of form, and he finally came good again. So too Zak Crawley, who eventually found firmer footing in Australia during the recent Ashes tour, and his rich talent was on full display at the Viv Richards Stadium on Friday, a knock that would have done proud the man after whom the ground is named.

“It means an awful lot,” Crawley, 24, said after ending the day unbeaten on 117 as England earned an overall lead of 153 runs with nine wickets in hand in their second innings.

“It’s been a while since my first ton and there were times last year when I didn’t think I’d get (another) so I’m very pleased with the performance and pleased with the position we’re in.”

Earlier in the day, West Indies resumed at their overnight score of 373/9 and could add only two runs before losing their final wicket in form of Jayden Seales. However, they had earned a substantial-looking 64-run lead. Moreover, England lost their new opener and debutant Alex Lees (6) cheaply in their second innings.

Having scored 267 against Pakistan at Southampton in August 2020, his eighth Test, Zak Crawley had made 12 single-figure scores – including two ducks – in 21 innings since.

Called back into the side for the last 3 Ashes Tests when England initially dropped Rory Burns and then Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley scored a second-innings 77 in Sydney and survived the post-series clear-out, which also saw Alex Lees called up to accompany him at the top of the order.

Zak Crawley Shared An Unbeaten 193 Runs Partnership With Skipper Joe Root

Zak Crawley shared in an unbeaten 193-partnership with captain Joe Root (84), whose calm presence certainly did no harm. Joe Root advised Zak Crawley to play each ball on its merits, rather than trying to force the issue.

“He was telling me to stay concentrated and we just had to weather those storms (of good bowling) and come back and score more freely at times,” Crawley said.

Joe Root. File Photo
Joe Root. File Photo

“He’s such a calm head and so experienced I took a lot from him and he played beautifully himself.”

Zak Crawley had racked up his second Test hundred, passed 1000 runs in the process, hauled his average back above 30 for good measure, and shown enough class and durability in his 200-ball stay to awaken thoughts that his career-best 267 could yet be at his mercy if he shows sufficient hunger on the 5th Day of the Test match.

England 311 and 217 for 1 (Crawley 117*, Root 84*) lead West Indies 375 (Bonner 123, Brathwaite 55) by 153 runs

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