England suffer setback in Antigua after Bonner brings up hundred for West Indies


England were, once again, pegged back against the West Indies as Nkrumah Bonner’s century gave the hosts a first innings lead.

Bonner’s 123 off 355 balls carried West Indies to a lead of 62 after day three, with Jason Holder and Kraigg Braithwaite also pitching in with strong scores.

Day two began with Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes in the middle as they attempted to get England to a decent score after their batting collapse on the first day.

Both batsmen struggled to score runs in the opening overs and once Jayden Seales came into the attack, it was the start of another collapse. Woakes was caught out by a short ball and gloved the delivery into the hands of Janith Da Silva.

Craig Overton only lasted two balls before Seales claimed his fourth wicket of the innings as Bonner caught him out at short leg.

Bairstow quickly realised the situation he was in and switched into one-day mode. He hit three boundaries in the next two overs but Mark Wood’s defensive efforts were broken by an Alzarri Joseph short ball.

Joseph then also picked up the final wicket of the innings as Bairstow went for a big shot over midwicket but could only edge it for Jason Holder to take a brilliant diving catch. England were all out for 311.

The pressure was on the English bowlers, who were tasked with proving that they could do as much damage as James Anderson and Stuart broad.

Woakes and Overton took on the challenge of the new ball and it did not swing their way. Wood and Jack Leach came in to try and help but they could not break the opening partnership between Braithwaite and John Campbell before the lunch break.

Overton got the first wicket for the visitors as Campbell was caught behind by Ben Foakes. Braithwaite at the other end managed to bring up fifty before he was dismissed by Wood.

Shamarh Brooks and Jermaine Blackwood were both sent back to the dressing room for scores lower than twenty, but this was the start of a tough spell for England.

Holder and Bonner batted their way through to the end of day two as they took their side from 127/4 to 202/4. Despite efficient bowling from England, just could not find the breakthrough they needed, and Wood explained his thoughts as to why.

“As can happen with any bowler, we just didn’t get it right at the start and maybe we tried a bit too hard. With the void of Anderson and Broad, maybe we wanted to try a bit hard and prove we can do it as a group.”

Ben Stoked managed to get Holder out for 45 as Foakes took another catch behind the stumps, but the introduction of Da Silva proved to be just as frustrating for the Three Lions.

Both batsmen made it to the lunch break, with Bonner reaching his fifty in the process, as the bowlers once again struggled. Bonner and Da Silva managed another 70-run partnership before the latter was trapped for LBW by Leach.

It seemed England may have gained some momentum as Joseph only lasted seven deliveries, but Bonner was far from done. He managed to get over 40-run partnerships with both Kemar Roach and Veersammy Permaul as he went on to bring up his hundred.

Dan Lawrence picked up the invaluable wicket of Bonner as West Indies finished day three on 373/9. England will look to pick up the final wicket as quickly as they can before the batsmen will also need to relieve the pressure they face.

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