Nkrumah Bonner's patient hundred on the final day of the first Test against Sri Lanka guided West Indies to a well-deserved draw. After the game, the former centurion gave insights from the dressing room and said the team wanted to bat for their families and those who supported West Indies cricket.
West Indies had their task cut out as they began the 5th day on 34-1, chasing 375 for the win. Nkrumah Bonner, playing just his third Test, anchored the Windies innings to remain unbeaten on 113 off 274 balls. Speaking of his team's gameplan going into the final day, the 32-year old said:
"Obviously, the team had a game plan from the evening before we had a discussion. The coach and the team said that we wanted to bat for our families and people who support West Indies cricket," Bonner said.
When asked whether West Indies were looking to chase 375, the batsman revealed:
"I would say no(Whether WI thought of chasing the total). The gut feeling was that it was an experienced bowling attack. Also, the ball was a little bit soft. In the beginning, we had a small hope. But at lunchtime, we decided no(in terms of going for the chase)."
Nkrumah Bonner has already given a great example of his dogged determination in his short three-Test career. Earlier in his debut Test against Bangladesh, the right-hander formed a decisive 216-run partnership with Kyle Mayers to help the West Indies chase 395 runs in the fourth innings.
Nkrumah Bonner explains how Jason Holder helped him get to 100
Nkrumah Bonner had been dismissed for 86 & 90 in his last two Tests, missing out on a well-deserved hundreds on both occasions. The batsman explained how Jason Holder asked him to calm down when he was in his 90s with rain around the corner.
"It was very emotional (Getting to 100). I don't think it is something i can explain. It is something someone has to experience. What i can say is a really, really special feeling. When i was on 99, i thought the rain was coming. Jason came out and told me to stay calm. Stick to your process; stick to your gameplan, and it will happen. And it did," the 32-year-old added.
Making his debut at the age of 32, Bonner has emerged as a consistent performer for West Indies. The batsman credited his batting coach for his success.
"There is no secret (On his consistent performance). I obviously have to say thank you to the batting coach. He did a lot of work on me, and I'm happy to see it pay off."
The second and final Test of the series will be played at the same venue in Antigua, starting from March 29.