The home team were reeling after losing four wickets for eight runs in their second innings — including those of John Campbell (22) and Jermaine Blackwood (2) — who inexplicably fell making aggressive Twenty20-style shots.
West Indies still had to survive another 36 overs at that stage, but experienced allrounder Jason Holder and first-innings century-maker Nkrumah Bonner steadied the ship, surviving until the end at Viv Richards Stadium on the island of Antigua.
What a start to the Apex Test series!🙌🏾 #WIvENG https://t.co/1QXJMKJj1N
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) 1647121648000
Playing nearly every ball defensively with the utmost of caution, the pair hunkered down, especially Bonner who took 34 balls to get off the mark.
But he and Holder were mostly comfortable, though the former had a scare when struck on the pad from spinner Jack Leach with 22 overs left.
Given not out on field, England captain Joe Root decided not to use his final review, a poor decision as replays showed the ball would have hit leg stump.
Draw! A patient day of Test cricket comes to an end.👏🏿 #WIvENG #MenInMaroon https://t.co/1LsYMQn2YW
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) 1647121423000
England put themselves in that predicament by earlier wasting a review on an lbw appeal that was not even close.
With Leach and part-time spinner Dan Lawrence finally producing some turn on a pitch that at long last offered some assistance to the slow bowlers, England crowded the bat with five and, eventually, six fielders.
Our Apex Player of the Match!🏆 Well played Bonner!👏🏿 #WIvENG #MenInMaroon https://t.co/3TfSe4Ex6i
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) 1647121771000
However, they could not capture the elusive breakthrough that would have earned a crack at the tail, the match finishing with West Indies 147 for four, Holder on 37 and Bonner 38.
England’s cause was not helped by the absence of fast bowler Mark Wood, sidelined by a right elbow injury, though it was always likely that the result would come down to the success of the team’s spinners.
Earlier, England set West Indies a victory target of 286 runs, declaring in time to give their attack 71 overs to get through the West Indies.