West Indies Fight Back To Draw First Test

Nkrumah-Bonner
Nkrumah Bonner of the West Indies played a major role in helping his team to a draw in the 1st Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in North Sound, Antigua and Barbuda, on March 25, 2021. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)
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News Americas, NORTH SOUND, Antigua, Fri. March 26, 2021: The West Indies fought back from the edge of defeat to a draw Thursday asJamaican Nkrumah Bonner stood strong to help his side fend off a loss to Sri Lanka in their first test match.

While the Sri Lankans fought their way back from a ODI series loss to pose a determined effort to win the first test,Bonner refused to allow a Windies loss.

The right-hander Nkrumah Bonner delivered a high-quality maiden Test hundred for the West Indies which helped them defy the odds and end the first test on an even keel.

Resuming from their overnight 34 for one in pursuit of an improbable target 375, West Indies never looked in danger at any point as the 32-year-old Bonner batted the entire day for an unbeaten 113 to crystallize the result.

Left-hander Kyle Mayers struck 52 and captain Kraigg Brathwaite chipped in with a dogged 23, batting around Bonner to lift West Indies to 236 for four, before Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne finally called time on his side’s victory quest with ten of the mandatory 15 overs in the final hour still to be bowled.

Starting the day on 15, Bonner faced 274 deliveries in a shade over seven hours at the crease, and struck 13 fours and one six, demonstrating composure and maturity which belied his inexperience at highest level.

Crucially, he extended his overnight second wicket stand with Brathwaite to 66 before posting a precious 105 for the third wicket with Mayers, and then seeing out the contest in an unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 32 with former captain Jason Holder (18 not out).

It was only his third Test after making his debut last month in Bangladesh, the Jamaican has now scored a hundred and two half-centuries in six innings, to extend the prolific start to his career.

“This is truly special for me. This is my childhood dream and I am really happy I got this monkey off my back,” Bonner said afterwards. “Obviously the team had a game plan. From the evening before, we had discussions and basically the coach and the team said we wanted to bat for ourselves, bat for our families and the people who support West Indies cricket.”

The Scoreboard on the final day of the first Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium was as follows:

SRI LANKA 1st innings 169

WEST INDIES 1st Innings 271

SRI LANKA 2nd Innings 476

WEST INDIES 2nd Innings (target: 375 runs)

(overnight 34 for one)

*K Brathwaite b Embuldeniya 23

J Campbell c wkp Dickwella b V Fernando 11

N Bonner not out 113

K Mayers c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 52

J Blackwood b V Fernando 4

J Holder not out 18

Extras (b4, lb8, nb3) 15

TOTAL (4 wkts, 100 overs) 236

Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Campbell), 2-78 (Brathwaite), 3-183 (Mayers), 4-204 (Blackwood)

Bowling: Lakmal 25-10-33-0, V Fernando 19-0-73-2 (nb1), Embuldeniya 28-9-62-2 (nb1), Chameera 18-3-44-0 (nb1), Dhananjaya 10-5-12-0..

Result: Match drawn.

Series: Two match series 0-0.

Man-of-the-Match: Nkrumah Bonner.

Toss: West Indies.