Jason Holder century enough to hold off England

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West Indies,England,Jason Holder,James Anderson

West Indies stood up once again, just like they did six years ago, to keep their three match Test Series against England level. A man of the match performance from Jason Holder was the difference on the final day of the first test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.

England made 399 all out in the first innings while the West Indies could only muster 294. England began their second innings with a lead of 104 and then declared at 333-7, setting the West Indies a target of 438 to win the match. England gave themselves five sessions to bowl out the West Indies, on a pitch that was suitable for batting. The West Indies batted better in the second inning to close on 350-7.

Anyone who thought that Alastair Cook, the England captain, made his team bat too long and did not need so many runs on the board, was proven wrong. Had England not batted so long and West Indies had fewer runs to chase, especially with a well set Jason Holder at the end of the innings, the match could have had a different result. But it was not to be and it means England has to wait for their first win overseas since 2012.

Jason Holder played a majestic innings that was well needed by his team, to leave the English disappointed after starting off the morning session in such a positive way. Jermaine Blackwood, Dinesh Ramdin and Kemar Roach played a supporting role to make sure the West Indies did not give in to an desperate England bowling attack.

James Tredwell started off the morning session on a good note when Devon Smith hit a delivery from the off-break bowler straight in to the hands of midwicket, adding 10 runs to his overnight 55.

Marlon Samuels marched back to the pavilion soon after, caught at gully, to give James Anderson his 383rd Test wicket, to tie with Ian Botham for the most wickets for England. Anderson had to wait a bit longer to become the leading wicket taker for England when he broke a 105 wicket partnership with a beautiful leg cutter that Ramdin edged to slip.

At this stage England had 18 overs to get three wickets but they could not get out the Barbadians pair who saw the West Indies to a comfortable draw.

It was a good match to begin the series and England would be the disappointed at the end of the match, after failing to bowl out the Caribbean team for a second time. But credit must be given to the West Indies team as they had two players scoring their maiden Test centuries, early in their career in Jermaine Blackwood and Jason Holder.