Anderson breaks Botham’s record on his 100th Test becoming England’s highest wicket-taker
A maiden Test century from Jason Holder and his defiant partnerships with Denesh Ramdin, his captain, and Kemar Roach ensured the West Indies walked away with a draw in the first Test against England at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Friday (April 17).
Holder held on for three hours and 36 minutes and batted 149 balls for his unbeaten 103, and put up a century stand with Ramdin (57) for the seventh wicket.
James Anderson broke the partnership in the penultimate hour of the day, Ramdin’s edge to first slip giving him the wicket he needed to overtake Ian Botham to be England’s highest wicket-taker with 384 scalps, in his 100th Test.
That left England 18 overs to get the remaining three wickets for their first overseas Test win in over two years. However, Holder ensured the wait would get a little longer at least, piloting an unbroken 56-run partnership for the eight wicket in 18.2 overs with Roach, whose contribution to the stand was 15.
Earlier, set an improbable 438 for victory, West Indies kept England on their toes as Marlon Samuels and Devon Smith negotiated the threat in the first hour.
Twelve luckless overs later, Smith presented the first gift to England as an attempted loft over the infield off James Tredwell resulted in a simple catch to Gary Ballance at mid-on. Two overs later, Anderson equalled Ian Botham’s record of 383 wickets when Samuels’s slash was well pouched by Tredwell at gully to leave West Indies at 127 for 4.
With the odd ball spinning and keeping low, Alastair Cook kept Tredwell on from one end and Joe Root from the other. That paid off as Shivnarine Chanderpaul was foxed by one from Root that drifted back in to trap him lbw.
Not only was Chanderpaul’s wicket a body blow to the West Indies, it also wasted a review as Steve Davies’s decision was upheld.
It went into lunch at 162 for 5, with Jermaine Blackwood, the first-innings centurion, still at the crease. But an attempted mow over midwicket soon after resulted in a feather through to Jos Buttler off Chris Jordan as England had the sniff early on.
As the second session wore on, there were a number of appeals for lbw that were turned down. Ramdin and Holder stuck to their task, curbing the urge to play their strokes. Alastair Cook, the England captain, alternated with spin and pace for most parts, only to be met by the defiance.
The teams will now fly to Grenada, where the second Test begins on Tuesday.
To see the full scorecard of this match, please click here.