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A spirited batting display from Shivnarine Chanderpaul (91), Marlon Samuels (86) and the West Indian lower order on day 4 helped them put up a fight against hosts England in the first of the 3 test series at Lordâ€™s on Sunday. Resuming the day with 6 wickets in hand and still 35 runs behind England in their second innings, the West Indies rallied on the back of a brilliant 157 run stand between Chanderpaul and Samuels and made a commendable 345 all out in their second innings, setting the Poms a target of 191 to win with little over a day remaining in the test. Kemar Roach took two scalps late in the evening to cap off a fine day for the visitors leaving England at a dodgy 10/2 at stumps still needing 181 to win the test on the final day.
The West Indian overnight batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels resumed play 35 runs adrift of the England first innings score and started off day 4 with a positive mindset. Chanderpaul was picking up singles much more regularly than the previous day while his partner Samuels pulled out his 'A game'.
The languid right hander struck a couple of classy drives off the front foot in typical Caribbean fashion before taking on the short ball successfully on a couple of occasions with some powerful pull shots. The England bowlers on the other hand were a bit unlucky as a couple of edges from either batsmen didn't quite carry to the slips on this wearing surface but they continued to plug away at the determined pair.
Having seen off the initial burst, Samuels cashed in on a couple of looseners from Graeme Swann too and propelled the score past the deficit. At the hour mark on day 4 the Windies were 11 runs ahead having not lost any further wickets, but they needed to carry on further to entertain any thoughts of making a game out of this.
The West Indian resistance continued pre-lunch as Shiv Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels denied England a penetrative inroad. Both batsmen went past fifty without any alarms and looked at ease against the clueless English attack on a flat deck that was dying down with every passing session. Samuels in particular scored freely on both sides of the wicket and played Swann with positive intent. Chanderpaul was his usual gritty self, having an answer to just about everything thrown at him. Barring a couple of play and misses the Windies coasted to 212/4 at lunch, largely unruffled building up a steady lead of 57 runs in the process. There were centuries on offer for both batsmen after the interval, should they have the focus to cash in.
Marlon Samuels and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were confronted with the second new ball post lunch and were up against it. After having scored fluently before lunch, the determined duo knuckled down after the interval and looked to bide their time. Their 157 run stand finally came to an end though as Samuels lost his concentration and nicked a full swinging delivery from Stuart Broad to second slip after making a terrific 86.
Chanderpaul battled on at the other end and was well supported by keeper Denesh Ramdin ,who came out with the sole aim of seeing the new ball through. The pair put on 39 runs at a canter and took the team to the brink of tea before Graeme Swann struck a body blow to the Windies chances. Swann trapped Chanderpaul lbw on the sweep stroke with an arm ball a couple of overs before the break. At Tea, England regained the upper hand with two crucial blows keeping the visitors down to 265/6, in the lead by 110 runs.
Ramdin and captain Darren Sammy resumed the West Indian fight back after tea in positive fashion as they went about accumulating the runs with some aggressive batting. Sammy struck the ball cleanly while Ramdin too looked to up his scoring rate. The duo put on 42 for the 7th wicket before Sammy (37) fell caught behind to Broad. The Poms sensed an opening and polished off the tail without much fuss. Roach was the next to go for 4 caught at point once again off Broad before the well set Ramdin too fell for 43 four overs later, bowled through the gate by Anderson. At 325/9 the last wicket pair of Fidel Edwards and Shannon Gabriel frustrated England for a while by putting on 20 runs in about 8 overs before the latter lost patience and fell bowled to Graeme Swann for 13. This meant West Indies were bowled out for a fighting 345 in their second innings and set a dicey 190 to chase for the Worldâ€™s No.1 test side.
Englandâ€™s pursuit of 191 was rocked early by a fired up Kemar Roach. The Windies speedster struck with his second ball in the second over of the innings as he got one to rear up on the England skipper Andrew Strauss(1) and found the shoulder of the bat through to gully. In only 4 overs that were possible before close, Roach struck again by removing the nightwatchwan James Anderson for 6, caught behind, after having gloved a short one. Jonathan Trott was exceptionally fortunate to survive a close leg before appeal first ball as England ended the day on a shaky 10/2 still needing 181 runs to win on the final day at Lordâ€™s.
Thanks to a fine partnership of 157 from Chanderpaul and Samuels, followed by a handy innings from Ramdin (42) and Sammy (37), the West Indies continue to fight in the test match. With Kemar Roach claiming 2 wickets late in the day, There is hope for the visitors on the final day as they will attempt to put the famed English line up under further pressure.
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 345 (130.5 overs, 2.63 rpo)
S Chanderpaul 91(250) G Swann 3/59
M Samuels 86(172) S Broad 4/93
England 2nd Innings 10/2 (4 overs, 2.5 rpo)
J Anderson 6(5) K Roach 2/7
File Photograph Copyright: Oliver Florence