Nkrumah Bonner’s brilliance with the bat has kept West Indies ahead in the first Test against England in Antigua as the hosts concluded the proceedings on Day 3 at 373/9, leading by 62 runs. The Caribbean side was 202/4 at the end of the second day but lost an early wicket on the third day after Ben Stokes removed Jason Holder for 45.
Bonner was then joined by Joshua Da Silva in the middle and the two batters once again provided the resistance to the home side with a partnership of 73 runs before losing a couple of wickets in quick succession. West Indies were now reduced to 282/7 and needed someone to stick around with Bonner and Kemar Roach did exactly the same.
He along with Bonner chipped in with a stand of 44 runs for the 8th wicket before a confusion in the middle cost Roach his wicket for 15. West Indies were once again left in a spot of bother at 326/8.
But Veerasammy Permaul who walked in at number 10 and Bonner had some other plans. The two batters showed a lot of character and stitched a stand of 46 runs which pushed the England side on the back foot.
Bonner completed his hundred before getting out at 123 while Permaul was unbeaten at 26 before stumps were called.
Ben Stokes and Craig Overton have so far picked up a couple of wickets each for their side in the first innings.
ICC rated the pitch used for the first Test between Pakistan vs Australia at Rawalpindi as "below average", and the venue received a demerit point. After a dull draw at Karachi, Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle rated the pitch where the bowlers found it difficult to pick wickets. "The character of the pitch hardly changed over the course of five days and that there has been no deterioration apart from the bounce getting slightly lower. The pitch did not have a great deal of pace and bounce in it for the seamers nor assisted the spinners as the match progressed. In my view this does not represent an even contest between bat and ball. Therefore, in keeping with the ICC guidelines, I rate this pitch as below average," Madugalle stated in his match report. In ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, one demerit point is allocated to pitches rated below average by match referees. If a surface is declared poor and unfit, the venue will receive three and five demerit points. Demerit points will remain active for five years. Also, if a venue accumulates five demerit points or more. In that case, it will be banned from hosting international cricket for a span of twelve months. If a venue earns ten or more demerit points, it will be suspended from staging international cricket for 24 months. Meanwhile, PCB chief Rameez Raja had a different take on the matter. Raja conceded that the pitch was prepared to nullify the Australian bowling attack while understanding the fans' frustration. "Just for the heck of it, we can't prepare a fast pitch or a bouncy pitch and put the game in Australia's lap ... It's important that when we play at home, we play to our strengths," Raja commented. The 2nd Test will kick off at Karachi on Saturday.
South Africa Women will now be fresh to face the resistance from Pakistan Women at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on March 11, 2022. The Proteas Women are playing their second game while the Pakistan Women side are up against their third opposition in this showpiece tournament.