First Test, day five latest updates from Antigua

Zak Crawley was a relieved man after repaying England’s religion with a long-awaited hundred yesterday.

Crawley took full benefit of a tepid fourth-day pitch in Antigua to make an unbeaten 117, exhibiting off his vary of pulls, cuts and drives after taking the time to play himself in.

In doing so he shared a 193-run stand with captain Joe Root and guided his staff to a watertight 217 for one. That locations them 153 forward with three periods of the match remaining, second favourites behind the draw.

This was an already an vital private triumph, although. Crawley introduced himself on the worldwide stage in grand trend 19 months in the past, blazing 267 in opposition to Pakistan to place his title up in lights on the age of twenty-two.

But from the best of highs got here the bottom of lows. He averaged simply 10.81 final yr, shedding a few of his pure spark alongside the way in which and was lastly dropped late in the summertime in a bid to spare him any additional injury.

Yet his removing felt totally different to others who’ve been axed in current occasions. He was saved shut, assured of his value and handed a route again into the aspect simply 5 video games later through the Ashes.

“It means an awful lot to score a hundred. It’s been a while since my last one and there were times last year when I didn’t think I’d get another,” he stated.

“But after I obtained taken out of the staff, they stated I had an enormous future, which I used to be very grateful for. It gave me lots of confidence. I used to be grateful they picked me once more. I all the time believed in myself that I’d come once more. Maybe not so quickly, however I knew I used to be younger and I had an opportunity to come back once more.

“I feel in good touch now, so hopefully I can make the most of it.”

Crawley’s barren run lasted 21 innings since his double ton, with 12 of these seeing him rating fewer than 10.

During that point he was too typically responsible of flashing exterior off stump, putting an excessive amount of confidence in flowing cowl drives that look wonderful after they come off and calamitous after they take the sting.

He was responsible of the same mistake within the first innings when he struck two fours then nicked off to Jayden Seales, however he has made a acutely aware effort to decide on his moments. And in Root, who scored a usually low-maintenance 84 not out, he had the proper accomplice.

“I like to put some pressure on the bowlers but I’ve certainly tried to rein my game in a bit more since coming back into the team,” he stated.

“I’ve tried to place away a number of extra photographs that I used to be enjoying final yr and getting me into hassle. That’s what I’ve been attempting to do: simply make the sport a bit extra easy.

“Whenever I bat with Joe he talks about making good choices for lengthy durations of time. He does that extraordinarily nicely and I attempted to emulate him. He was superb to bat with, he performed brilliantly and took the strain off me.

“He’s always a calm head telling me to take it one ball at a time, make good decisions and thankfully I made a few more than I usually do.”

Having lowered their prospects of defeat to virtually nil, forcing victory stays a tricky ask for the vacationers however Crawley is staying constructive.

He added: “I feel the pitch wants to interrupt up slightly extra.

“Hopefully it starts spinning and breaking up but even if it doesn’t, we’ll try all day. You’re always a sniff when the pressure is on the scoreboard.”

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