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The England Cricket team inched closer to yet another test match victory at the home of cricket, Lord's, as they put in another domineering performance on day 3 of the first test against the West Indies on Saturday. Resuming the day 16 runs ahead of West Indies at 259/3, England suffered early blows in the first session and slumped to 322/7 before a fluent 61 from Ian Bell and a cameo 30 from Graeme Swann helped them to 398 all out, amassing a sizeable lead of 155 runs.
The West Indian reply never really got going as their batsmen were content with occupying the crease and didn't put emphasis on scoring. This ploy worked in England's favour as they patiently chipped away at the Windies top order and reduced them 65/4 before the ever reliable Shiv Chanderpaul (34*) joined in with Marlon Samuels (26*) to take West Indies to respectability at 120/4 at stumps. There is, however, plenty of work to do for the visitors to escape defeat and they will also be hoping for some divine intervention (read rain) to help them stay afloat in the test match.
After being put to the sword on the first couple of days of the first test match of the series at Lordâ€™s, The high spirited West Indies hit back on the morning of the 3rd day through an inspired bowling spell from their most in-form bowler this season, Kemar Roach. Resuming day 3 in the ascendancy at 259/3, England lost the key wicket of their skipper Andrew Strauss for a well compiled 122 in the third over of the day via a faint inside edge through to the keeper off the bowling of Roach, an initial not out decision which was well reviewed by Darren Sammy. That wicket brought to the middle a debutant in Johnny Bairstow , who looked organized in his first innings in test cricket. The Yorkshire lad picked off a couple of tidy boundaries off his pads before he fell plumb lbw to a delivery seaming in from Roach for an unfulfilling 16. After the first hour on day 3, England were still in the ascendancy at 303/5 with Ian Bell and Matt Prior looking to build on the lead.
Straight after the drinks interval, debutant Shannon Gabriel struck gold for the Windies as he disturbed the stumps of Matt Prior(19) with the batsman having played all around a straight ball, looking to work it onto the leg side. The Caribbean party continued as skipper Darren Sammy dismissed Tim Bresnan for a duck the very next over, claiming another caught behind owing to his nagging line and length.
Ian Bell though held fort sternly amidst this mini collapse and helped England keep the scoreboard moving. He was assisted adequately by the talented left hander Stuart Broad, who managed to put up some resistance to put an end to the slide. The duo added an unbeaten 18 runs for the 8th wicket and went into lunch with England on 341/7, in the lead by 98 runs after what was a session that firmly belonged to the visitors. The Windies, finally had something to show for their efforts and had given themselves a bit of a chance to make a match out of this.
The West Indies made a bright start to the post lunch session as Fidel Edwards got one through Broadâ€™s(10) defences first ball after the resumption. Graeme Swann then came in at No.10 and consolidated Englandâ€™s position by playing a wonderful little cameo. He played some delightful strokes, drives and flicks on both sides of the wicket and put together a quick 56 run stand with established batsman Ian Bell before he was bowled by Shannon Gabriel for 30 off just 25 balls. Ian Bell too got into the groove and made his way to a fluent 61 before he fell to the pull shot to Gabriel soon after, looking for some quick runs with just James Anderson left to partner him. Consequently, inside the first hour after tea England were bowled out for 398 after having amassed a 155 run lead going into the second innings.
The Windies openers Kieran Powell and Adrian Barath started off the West Indian second innings in a rather sedate fashion with maximum emphasis on survival against the English new ball attack. Jimmy Anderson got the ball to jag around prodigiously with the new ball leaving the Windies openers all at sea. Kieran Powell in particular was bamboozled by the two-way swing of Anderson and survived a couple of close shaves. The pair though, showed some grit and stuck on for 12 overs and just as they seemed like taking their team through to tea, the expected catastrophe hit them yet again.
Adrian Barath poked at one from Tim Bresnan after having fought through the initial burst from Anderson and was caught behind for 24, following which his partner Kieran Powell fell to the short ball trap from Broad the very next over, holing out to deep square-leg. That wasnâ€™t it for the visitors as Kirk Edwards was run out by a brilliant piece of fielding from debutant Johnny Bairstow at cover point who stopped a drive from Darren Bravo before hitting the stumps direct at the bowlers end to find Edwards(0) half way down the pitch. That wicket forced the players off for an early Tea with England all over the Windies, who were in dire straits at 36/3 in their second innings.
The final session of the day was all. about attrition for the West Indies. Having lost 3 wickets in quick succession before Tea, Darren Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were quite content to occupy the crease and didn't show much ambition to score runs. England on the other hand were quite happy to plug away with no real pressure on them and stemmed the run flow completely. They did have half a chance when Chanderpaul's guided poke just evaded the outstretched hand of Anderson in the gully. The left handed duo meandered along for over an hour into the session and added just 29 runs in 17 overs before Darren Bravo perished shouldering arms to a Graeme Swann arm ball that took his off stump.
England eventually got an important breakthrough before the end of day and were happy to go to stumps six wickets away from victory. Intent was lacking from the West Indies as Marlon Samuels walked in at 65/4 and continued to grind hard for his runs. The pair crawled along for a little less than an hour before Chanderpaul, who had been a personification of patience having made 17 off 77 deliveries, decided to open up just before close. Samuels and Chanderpaul stroked a few boundaries going into stumps taking the Windies to a reasonable 120/4 given the poor start and got to within 35 runs of the England score.
So, despite another fighting performance from Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the West Indies find themselves in danger of losing inside 4 days owing to yet another familiar top order collapse. England though will be hoping that the Guyanese south-paw won't stand in the way for too long as they bid to finish things off on the 4th day with just 6 wickets and probably a few more runs to knock over on Sunday.
England: A Strauss (c), A Cook, J Trott, K Pietersen, I Bell, J Bairstow, M Prior (wk), T Bresnan, S Broad, G Swann, J Anderson.
West Indies: A Barath, K Powell, K Edwards, D Bravo, S Chanderpaul, M Samuels, D Sammy (c), D Ramdin (wk), K Roach, S Gabriel, F Edwards
West Indies 1st Innings 243 all out (89.5 overs, 2.71rpo)
S Chanderpaul 87* (175) S Broad 7-72
A Barath 42 (101) J Anderson 2-56
England 1st Innings 398 all out (113.3 overs, 3.5 rpo)
A Strauss 122(258) K Roach 3/87
I Bell 61 (105) S Gabriel 3/60
West Indies 2nd Innings 120/4 (50 overs, 2.4 rpo)
S Chanderpaul 34*(95) G Swann 1/21
M Samuels 26*(65) S Broad 1/31
File Photograph Copyright: Barry Zee
- 21/05/2012 06:53 - Gibson confident West Indies can win
- 20/05/2012 16:04 - England 10/2 at the end of Day 4, chasing 191 to win Lord's Test
- 20/05/2012 11:04 - Gabriel hails Chanderpaul, welcomes unexpected debut