Crawley ton gives England hope

Joe Root

Zak Crawley says England will give it everything to win the first Test against West Indies on the final day on Saturday (Match Result – England 11/2, draw 2/15, West Indies 40/1) after his century helped the tourists to a lead of 153 runs in Antigua.

England have recovered from a poor start in the opening match of the three-Test series and now have the upper hand at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium thanks largely to Crawley’s unbeaten 117 and a knock of 84 not out from skipper Joe Root (pictured) to leave them on 217-1 in their second innings.

The tourists dominated day four before rain brought an early end to proceedings and their efforts mean England are in with a chance of sealing what had earlier looked like an unlikely victory on day five.

A draw remains the most likely outcome but Crawley, who was delighted with just his second Test century after a tough 12 months personally, says there is a determination within the England camp to try and go for the victory.

He told BT Sport: “It’s a very special feeling. It was tough year last year, I didn’t think I would get this opportunity again.

“We certainly want to try and win it tomorrow, we’ll have a good go in the morning, then try and bowl them out.”

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Earlier on Friday, England had needed just three deliveries to claim the final West Indies wicket as the Windies were bowled out 375 to lead by 64 runs before the visitors set about overturning that advantage.

An early wobble saw debutant Alex Lees dismissed for six but Crawley and Root’s superb unbeaten stand of 193 ensured England ended the day in the ascendancy.

Building a significant lead and then trying to bowl the hosts out on the final day will be tough on a batter-friendly pitch but Crawley, who is 20/21 to go on and score 150, insists England will give it a good go in the hope conditions turn in their favour.

He added: “I think the pitch needs to break up a little more. Hopefully it starts spinning and breaking up but even if it doesn’t, we’ll try all day.”

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