England suffer Mark Wood injury blow as Nkrumah Bonner inspires West Indies
Mark Wood added injury to the insult of the England struggle to bowl the West Indies out as Nkrumah Bonner took his side into a third-day lead in the first Test.
Nkrumah Bonner was closing in on a marathon hundred at tea in Antigua, with 98 not out from 255 balls as his side reached 322 for seven – an 11-run lead.
England’s frustrations were elevated by concerns over Wood, their fastest and most in-form bowler. He is being treated for an elbow complaint and spent the entire afternoon session off the field with medical staff.
The 32-year-old, whose right arm was heavily strapped, bowled just five overs in the morning session, including a second spell of just six balls, and faces an uncertain role in the remainder of the match.
England suffer Mark Wood injury blow
England do not expect Wood to feature again in the West Indies first innings, an unwanted headache given Ollie Robinson is already missing from the attack after suffering from back spasms last week.
Having controversially overlooked James Anderson and Stuart Broad for this tour to empower others, England are now facing a potentially awkward shortage of quicks.
Uncapped duo Saqib Mahmood and Matt Fisher are the spare pace options, but England may soon have to consider flying in reinforcements.
With Wood struggling, England were unable to knock over the Windies. Bonner was in familiar territory, having scored his only previous Test hundred at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium against Sri Lanka a year ago.
He showed superb powers of concentration to repeatedly defy England’s efforts on a pitch that was showing tell-tale signs of going to sleep. He survived one half-chance on 40, when a top-edge off Ben Stokes fell agonisingly short of mid-wicket, and had a more clear-cut lifeline on 73 when Zak Crawley put down a gentle bat-pad catch at slip off Jack Leach.
The day had started very well for the tourists, with just four runs added to the overnight score of 202 for four when Stokes prised out fellow all-rounder Jason Holder.
The former captain has been a thorn in England’s side on many occasions so to nip him out early – courtesy of an indecisive edge through to Ben Foakes – was a huge lift.
Had substitute fielder Ollie Pope managed to get his fingertips underneath Bonner’s mis-hit, Stokes’ intervention could have proved decisive. Instead, the number four settled back to down his meticulous work and led a workmanlike stand of 73 with Josh Da Silva.
For the second time in the innings, Woakes and Craig Overton were unable to use the new ball to good effect, but there was a moment at the start of the afternoon session that they should have seized.
Leach had Da Silva lbw with a wicket-to-wicket delivery and Overton successfully bounced out Alzarri Joseph to make it a double breakthrough.
Bonner saw a deflected edge canon to slip off his pad, but the ricochet caught Crawley off guard. Banking his good fortune, the Jamaican doubled down on his painstaking accumulation to close in on his century with a couple of late flourishes against a flagging attack.
Kemar Roach was keeping him company well, but, after 123 overs in the field and with one man down, England were a weary looking unit as they trudged to the pavilion.
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