Windies keep England at bay
by Cricketarchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:West Indies v England
Player:CH Gayle, S Chanderpaul, BP Nash, A Khan
Event:England in West Indies 2008/09

DateLine: 9th March 2009


England's bid for a series-levelling victory ran into trouble when West Indies avoided following on in the fifth and final Test.


England had a chance to put West Indies under pressure, when skipper Chris Gayle hobbled away with a hamstring injury immediately after reaching his 10th Test hundred, an even, undefeated 100. But left-handers Brendan Nash (70 not out) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (52 not out) each hit half-centuries and shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 146 to carry West Indies to 349 for four, replying to England's first innings total of 546 for six declared, when stumps were drawn on the third day at Queen's Park Oval.


England looked in control when Gayle limped away after reaching his second hundred of the series, and Monty Panesar removed Lendl Simmons for 24, as West Indies wobbled to 203 for four. But England were stonewalled, when Nash joined Chanderpaul and they batted an hour and 15 minutes before tea, and then the entire evening period to steady the ship. Matt Prior conceded four byes off Panesar to take West Indies over the follow-on threshold and carry the count of byes in the innings to 30 that boosted the total of extras to a huge 61.


Before lunch, England prised out Ramnaresh Sarwan before he did too much damage. Test newcomer Amjad Khan collected the prized scalp for his first wicket in Tests when he had Sarwan lbw for 14 in his first over of the day, when the batsman played across the line of a well-pitched delivery that straightened on him. It was a fortunate break for England, after slip fielder Paul Collingwood had dropped Sarwan on 12 in the previous over off Panesar.


Stuart Broad had earlier scalped Daren Powell for a duck, when the West Indies night-watchman fended an awkwardly lifting delivery and was caught at gully. In the previous over from Swann, Gayle had reached his 50 from 76 balls, when he drove the off-spinner to long-off for a single. England found Gayle difficult to dislodge, but the West Indies captain pulled up with a strained hamstring, after taking the run that took him to his second hundred of the series. After receiving medical attention on the field, he eventually hobbled away leaving his side to carry on the fight without him.


A West Indies spokesman indicated that Gayle would have a medical scan early on Monday, and will only take part in the game further, if required.


England had a chance to remove Nash, but their captain Andrew Strauss failed to hold onto a sharp bat-pad offer off Panesar. After tea, Nash and Chanderpaul settled into their groove and batted West Indies out of danger. Khan paid for his wayward bowling, when Nash upper cut him over the slips to third man for his ninth boundary to reach his 50 from 98. Chanderpaul pounced on an ill-directed delivery from Panesar to gather two from a flick to deep fine leg to reach his 50 from 142 balls.


England trail in the five-Test series 1-0, following an innings and 23-run defeat in the opening Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica, where they were dismissed for their third-lowest total of 51 in the second innings. The second Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua was abandoned because of a dangerous outfield, while the third Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground and the fourth Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados both ended in draws. England need a victory to share the series and retain the Wisden Trophy, symbol of Test supremacy between the two sides.