Bonner brilliant in Windies draw
Jamaican middle-order batsman Nkrumah Bonner played one of the most resolute knocks you will see in a Test match as the right-hander notched his maiden Test century in helping the West Indies to come away with a draw against Sri Lanka on the final day of the first Test in Antigua yesterday.
The 32-year-old batted the entire final day to score 113 not out as the West Indies posted 236 for four when stumps were drawn after chasing 375 for victory.
It seemed like an eternity when Bonner and captain Kraigg Brathwaite resumed the fifth and final morning on 34 for one, with Bonner on 15 and Brathwaite eight.
The pair added 66 crucial runs for the second wicket before Brathwaite was bowled by Lasith Embuldeniya for 23.
Bonner then found another useful partner in Kyle Mayers, and the pair took the score to 91 for two at lunch. During that time, Bonner patiently negotiated his way to 50 off 126 balls.
On the resumption, the duo continued to wear down the tiring Sri Lankan bowlers, who rotated their attack in trying to break the partnership.
That partnership of 105 runs would knock the stuffing out of the visitors, who realised with each passing moment that their victory bid was dwindling by the minute.
They thought they had a chance, with the score on 183, as Mayers, after getting to his half-century, was caught at slip off Embuldeniya for 52.
BONNER HOLDER PARTNERSHIP
They got their tails up even further when Jermaine Blackwood was bowled by Vishwa Fernando for four at 204 for four, but in came Jason Holder to join Bonner, and the duo put an end to any further hopes of a Sri Lanka victory bid with a stubborn 32-run fifth-wicket partnership.
Bonner, urged on by Holder, would eventually get to his maiden Test century in the 88th over, and not even the nerves and the slight drizzle that was in the air would deny the Jamaican the well-deserved milestone which came off 243 balls with eleven fours and one six.
“It’s very emotional for me. I don’t think it is something I can explain, and it is something that someone has to experience, but all I can say [is] it’s a really special feeling,” Bonner said.
He eventually went on to add two more fours to his score to finish on 113 not out, with Holder left unbeaten on 18 with four fours.
SRI LANKA 1st innings 169
WEST INDIES 1st Innings 271
SRI LANKA 2nd Innings 476
WEST INDIES 2nd Innings (target: 375 runs)
(overnight 34 for one)
*K Brathwaite b Embuldeniya 23
J Campbell c wkp Dickwella b V Fernando 11
N Bonner not out 113
K Mayers c Thirimanne b Embuldeniya 52
J Blackwood b V Fernando 4
J Holder not out 18
Extras (b4, lb8, nb3) 15
TOTAL (4 wkts, 100 overs) 236
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Campbell), 2-78 (Brathwaite), 3-183 (Mayers), 4-204 (Blackwood)
Bowling: Lakmal 25-10-33-0, V Fernando 19-0-73-2 (nb1), Embuldeniya 28-9-62-2 (nb1), Chameera 18-3-44-0 (nb1), Dhananjaya 10-5-12-0..
Result: Match drawn.
Series: Two match series 0-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Nkrumah Bonner.
Toss: West Indies.
Umpires: G Brathwaite, J Wilson; TV – N Duguid.