England falls short of Test victory as West Indies hangs on for draw

Jason Holder and Nkrumah Bonner steadied the ship for the West Indies, surviving until the end after the team was in trouble following the loss of four wickets for eight runs.

Jason Holder and Nkrumah Bonner embrace after the first Test between England and West Indies ended in a draw at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, on Saturday.   -  AP

England fell short of victory as West Indies survived for a tense draw despite a top-order collapse on the final day of the first Test in North Sound on Saturday.

The home team was reeling after losing four wickets for eight runs in its second innings -- including those of John Campbell (22) and Jermaine Blackwood (2) -- who inexplicably fell making aggressive Twenty20-style shots.

West Indies still had to survive another 36 overs at that stage, but experienced all-rounder Jason Holder and first-innings century-maker Nkrumah Bonner steadied the ship, surviving until the end at Viv Richards Stadium on the island of Antigua.

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Playing nearly every ball defensively with the utmost of caution, the pair hunkered down, especially Bonner, who took 34 balls to get off the mark.

But he and Holder were mostly comfortable, though the former had a scare when struck on the pad from spinner Jack Leach with 22 overs left.

Given not out on field, England captain Joe Root decided not to use his final review, a poor decision as replays showed the ball would have hit leg stump.

England put itself in that predicament by earlier wasting a review on an lbw appeal that was not even close.

With Leach and part-time spinner Dan Lawrence finally producing some turn on a pitch that at long last offered some assistance to the slow bowlers, England crowded the bat with five and, eventually, six fielders.

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However, they could not capture the elusive breakthrough that would have earned a crack at the tail, the match finishing with West Indies 147 for four, Holder on 37 and Bonner 38.

England's cause was not helped by the absence of fast bowler Mark Wood, sidelined by a right elbow injury, though it was always likely that the result would come down to the success of the team's spinners.

Earlier, England set West Indies a victory target of 286 runs, declaring in time to give its attack 71 overs to get through the West Indies.

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