The West Indies and England drew a second straight Test in Barbados, leaving their series to be decided in the third and final test in Grenada. England didn’t declare its second innings until during the lunch break on Sunday, when it was 185-6 and led by 281 runs at Kensington Oval.
That offered the West Indies 282 runs to win from 65 overs at more than 4 an over. That was no help to the England bowlers, and too steep for the batsmen to attack.
The home side dug in on a pitch with little life in it and, after some early drama, held out for all 65 overs to finish on 135-5 at barely two runs per over.
Captain Kraigg Brathwaite, who batted for nearly 12 hours in the first innings for 160, steered the side to safety in the second with another monumental effort. He batted more than four hours for 56 runs from 184 balls.
England earned some hope when it reduced West Indies to 39-3 in the 13th over.
Spinner Jack Leach got John Campbell out for 10 in his first over after a review, and new fast bowler Saqib Mahmood got edges from Shamarh Brooks and Nkrumah Bonner into the hands of Joe Root.
Jermaine Blackwood reunited with Brathwaite, and the pair which combined for 183 from 69 overs in the first innings, shared 50 from 25 overs on Sunday. Then Blackwood was Leach’s second wicket of the day for 27 from 84.
Leach also bagged Jason Holder for a duck as he ended up bowling 94.5 overs overall, the most by an Englishman in a test in 60 years. He took six wickets in the match.
West Indies was five down with 20 overs to go but Brathwaite, on his home ground, refused to leave.
He got to his half-century with 10 overs left. He blocked out his last 16 deliveries. Brathwaite passed Brian Lara to face the most deliveries — 673 — in a single test by a West Indies player.
Joshua Da Silva was a lot bolder, taking boundaries off Root, Dan Lawrence and Ben Stokes to score 30 not out from 63. The West Indies totaled 411 and 135-5 in reply to England’s declarations at 507-9 and 185-6.
England was batting at the start of the day, resuming from 40 without loss. It needed to make quick runs and, between three rain delays, got them. Stokes made 19 off 18, Jonny Bairstow 29 off 25, and Lawrence a team-high 41 from 39.
Spinner Veerasammy Permaul took 2-29 for five wickets overall in the match. But after a bold declaration in Antigua on the last day of the first test, England left its declaration too late on the last day in Barbados.
The third Test starts on Thursday.