Kraigg Brathwaite keeps England flying again as West Indies fight for draw in Barbados

Been here before. Last week really.

And if it weren’t as dull in Barbados as it is in Antigua, two pudding courts would be undigested for those wanting real entertainment.

Brathwaite ensures England cannot taste victory in the second test


Brathwaite ensures England cannot taste victory in the second testCredit: Reuters
Root can't break West Indies' resolve on Thursday in Barbados


Root can’t break West Indies’ resolve on Thursday in BarbadosCredit: Reuters
England failed and was forced to settle for a draw


England failed and was forced to settle for a drawCredit: AFP

While Kraigg Brathwaite – aided and abetted once again by Jermaine Blackwood – deserves credit for another absolute effort, Groundhog Day is far from fun.

Brathwaite completed a truly remarkable individual performance to ensure his side travel to Grenada for the Final Test of Level Conditioning.

Under pressure, he made it through the 65 rounds needed to keep England victorious after they claimed it on 185-6.

In the process, Brathwaite broke Brian Lara’s West Indies record of 582 serves in a single test, in a staggering 400 loss to England in 2004.

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In 15 innings, captain Bajan Windies has played at his home in all but 19 passes – by late Saturday – adding 56 unbeaten in the first 160 and facing a total of 673 the ball as his team finished with 135 games. -5.

As on Friday, when he and Blackwood put up 173 points for the fourth wicket, the duo blocked, blocked and blocked again, losing time and overtaking, out of the game.

Even when Jack Leach, who had thrown 95 overs in the game, winked at Blackwood, was caught by the kneeling Jonny Bairstow – and with six, even seven men around the stick – Brathwaite did not succumb, a determination to win.

Leach’s swing earned three goals while Saqib Mahmood’s double ignited hopes of England’s only fourth win in 17 games at Kensington Oval after they set a target of 282.


They got there by adding 144 of the 24.5 voiceovers, thanks to some weeping willows by Dan Lawrence, Ben Stokes, and Bairstow.

All five England players swing, the pattern set as Alex Lees went deep into the mid-deep goal for the third part of the day, with six point spikes from Stokes, Lawrence and Bairstow.

Joe Root, though, let the rounds go lightly before he finally called it a day at lunch.

A source of regret, possibly, once any chance of the Windies launching darts at an uncertain target would quickly disappear.

Leach was on the field after five passes and, with the sixth ball, he hit – in review – when it was his turn to get Campbell’s gloves and thigh pads before being picked up by Lees.

Mahmood was next in the action, Root running around to happily take Shamrah Brooks’ advantage as Crawley juggled behind him.

And when Root then made a catch-up rule for the Lancashire player, to send Nkrumah Bonner back with three, the hosts were leading 39-3 with almost 53 left.

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Brathwaite and Blackwood, who beat England on day three, took the spot they had stopped in 25 rounds.

As hope began to fade, Leach found the edge of the prodigy Blackwood, where Bairstow, kneeling against the gulley, clung to.

Nine runs later, Lawrence lunged to the left to knock Jason Holder out a duck and give Leach a third time.

But that did not happen for England, Joshua Da Silva kept Brathwaite’s side to the end.

All for play, starting Thursday. However, can we have a proper yard? Kraigg Brathwaite keeps England flying again as West Indies fight for draw in Barbados


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