England cricket
Alastair Cook looks on as West Indies secure a hard fought series draw with a five-wicket win in Barbados.Getty Images

England have drawn their three-match series against West Indies after the hosts secured a five-wicket win on day three of the third test in Barbados.

Having resumed their second innings at the Kensington Oval on 39-5, Peter Moores' side, winners in the second test in Grenada after drawing the first meeting in Antigua, began with cautious optimism before Gary Ballance was caught by Darren Bravo at slip for 23.

Ben Stokes made 32 and enjoyed a briefly encouraging partnership with Jos Buttler before edging to Shivnarine Chanderpaul for Veerasammy Permaul's second wicket of the day. Chris Jordan was then adjudged to have been trapped lbw off the bowling of Jason Holder to leave the tourists floundering at 98-8.

Full of confidence from that dismissal, Holder immediately produced a fabulous yorker to remove Stuart Broad's off-stump and Jerome Taylor had man of the series James Anderson lbw to leave England all out for 123 after 42 overs.

Set a target of 192 for victory just before lunch, West Indies openers Kraigg Braithwaite and Shai Hope made a combined 34 before the latter was given out lbw off the bowling of Chris Jordan following an unsuccessful referral.

Jordan then added to his growing collection of breathtaking slip catches as he held an edge from Braithwaite off Moeen Ali despite appearing to be falling in the opposite direction.

Darren Bravo then crucially helped steady the ship before Broad accounted for the wicket of Marlon Samuels to give England hope at 70-3.

Chanderpaul, now 21 years removed from his test debut and surely now approaching the end of his lengthy career, got himself out cheaply after tea by chopping an otherwise inconspicuous Anderson delivery onto his own stumps.

There was to be no late bowling heroics from Anderson and co, however, as fine knocks of 82 and 47* respectively from Bravo and Jermaine Blackwood steered West Indies to a most satisfying victory.

While West Indies deserve great credit for securing the draw with a relatively young squad having been widely criticised in in the test arena over recent years, England's failure to take the series against supposedly inferior opposition will leave a sour taste in the mouth following their one-day debacle at the World Cup.

Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves, due to take over from Giles Clarke on 15 May, claimed in an interview with BBC Radio Leeds earlier this year that a failure to win this the first series of a hectic summer would lead to potential enquiries.

"I'd certainly be disappointed if we don't win the West Indies series, because I am pretty sure the West Indies are going to have a mediocre team," he said.

"A lot of their stars are going to be playing in the Indian Premier League anyway, not in the Tests, so we should win that series. If we don't win, I can tell you now there will be some enquiries of why we haven't."

England will have preciously little time to dwell on this result, with a one-off ODI against Ireland to come in Dublin before a home series against New Zealand begins at Lord's on 21 May.

Changes will inevitably be sought before the visit of the Black Caps. Jonathan Trott is likely to drop out altogether after just one tour back at senior international level while Yorkshire opener Adam Lyth will surely be handed an opportunity to shine.

The lack of a formidable front-line spinner was one of England's key issues in this third test, meanwhile, with many supporters and pundits alike bemoaning the decision not to include James Tredwell or Adil Rashid.