West Indies vs England 1st Test Day 5: Holder’s maiden century denies England victory

Holder celebrates after scoring his maiden Test century

Holder celebrates after scoring his maiden Test century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

West Indies pace bowler Jason Holder scored his maiden Test century to deny England victory on the fifth day of the first Test in Antigua.

Holder was well supported by captain Denesh Ramdin, who scored 57.

However, England pace bowler James Anderson deserves a lot of credit as well as he surpassed Sir Ian Botham to become the country’s leading wicket-taker in Tests.

Starting out the day onĀ 98/2, West Indies opener Devon Smith and all-rounder Marlon Samuels only added 21 runs to their eight-run partnership before Smith was caught by Gary Ballance at mid-on off the bowling of James Tredwell for 65.

Following Smith’s dismissal, the West Indies’ middle order collapsed as they went from 119/3 to 189/6.

However, Holder and Ramdin stemmed the bleeding with a 105-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries, before Ramdin was caught by captain Alastair Cook at slip to make Anderson England’s leading wicket-taker in Tests.

Ramdin’s solid knock of 57 came off 141 balls and included nine boundaries.

Ramdin hit nine boundaries during his knock of 57

Ramdin hit nine boundaries during his knock of 57

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Holder and Kemar Roach saw the West Indies to safety with an unbeaten 56-run partnership, during which Holder registered his maiden Test century.

Holder finished on 103 off 149 balls, which included 15 boundaries, while Roach remained undefeated on 15 off 55 deliveries, which included two boundaries.

Anderson and Joe Root picked up two wickets apiece, while Tredwell, Stuart Broad and Chris Jordan claimed one wicket each.

Anderson leaps in the air after surpassing Botham as England's leading wicket-taker in Tests

Anderson leaps in the air after surpassing Botham as England’s leading wicket-taker in Tests

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Cook was gutted to see the match end as a draw, and said: “We knew it was going to be hard work and it proved to be so, to get three wickets in the first session was a great effort and you’re always in with a chance. We couldn’t have done anything more to be honest, can’t fault the lads – great moment when Jimmy took the wicket, and we’ve had great support as always from the Barmy Army.

“In these conditions… It was a tough wicket to get 20 wickets on, we fought incredibly hard. There were a couple of really good innings to get us in that position. [West Indies quicks] They swung it a lot, the way Jerome and Roach bowled was testing, they put it in really good areas. Credit to Jimmy, on his 100th Test, to get the record. We’ll remember that for a long, long time. Jimmy would definitely have swapped that wicket for the win but I can’t fault anyone, they put their bodies on the line. We’ll dust ourselves off and get ready for another Test in Grenada.”

Ramdin was ecstatic that the West Indies managed to keepĀ England at bay, and said: “We were very nervous at the end there, congrats to Jason Holder on his first Test hundred. Kemar played his part, and well done to Jimmy Anderson as well. They fought hard, they came at us all the time, we just had to bat some overs, bat time. They kept coming at us. It’s very important, to create the belief, that we can win games.

“Partnerships were important, unfortunately I got out. The West Indians came out and supported us and saw good cricket. We need to be more clinical in terms of getting wickets in the middle; our batters who got starts should have carried on more. We’ll look at those things.”

Holder was named Man of the Match, and said: “My job was simple, just to bat, go in and have a knock. Got support from the other guys and me and Denesh Ramdin put on a partnership. We had belief in the dressing room, tired them out. They set aggressive fields, so it made sense to go for it. First one, hopefully first of many. I always see myself as a genuine all-rounder, coming up through the age groups I saw myself as a batting all-rounder but my bowling has taken over. When I step on the cricket field I think about myself first, then the team. Captaining was a good experience in the World Cup but just playing cricket for the West Indies is brilliant.”

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