I’ve decided to stop posting for bbccricket. I’ve loved every minute of it and leave for new challenges. I’ve learnt lots. Thank You So Much
For the first time during the Flower/Strauss era in recent memory England played appallingly for the vast majority of the day. Perhaps due to the fact that the match is a so called ‘dead rubber’. Or maybe England’s spirit and efforts were dampened by the massive number of empty seats at Edgbaston. This could be because tickets are being sold off at £43 per adult. Awful pricing and awful cricket from England. Having said that, you can’t take anything away from the brilliant West Indies, Tino Best’s world record innings being the highlight of the day. Ian Bell (76) and Kevin Pieterson (78) did salvage some pride for the home side on what was otherwise a miserable day all-round.
England got off to a flyer by taking the wicket of Ravi Rampaul on just the second ball of the day. Ravi Rampual edged behind to Matt Prior who took the catch despite having ongoing troubles with an eye infection, something that has prevented him playing to his full capability with the gloves. Rampaul was out for 2 off the bowling of Steven Finn, this started the remarkable, record breaking, innings of number eleven Tino Best.
Tino Best then hit, wait for hit, 95 runs of the England bowling attack. The record number of runs ever to be scored by a number eleven batsman, smashing the previous record of 75 runs by Zaheer Khan for India against Bangladesh. Best displayed fine shots, hooking, pulling, driving and sweeping his way to 95 before cruelly losing his wicket after a top edge sent the ball flying into the air. Andrew Strauss made up the ground to take yet another catch, putting him the joint leading out field catcher for England – tied for first with Sir Ian Botham. Graham Onions taking his fourth wicket, the standout bowler of the innings.
-More To Come Soon
For the first time since the 1960′s a test match in England lost all of the first two day’s worth of play due to rain. Despite efforts by the groundsman and his team at Edgbaston, with the elements against them nothing could be done to stop mother nature from ruining Thursday and Friday for the fans and players alike. Shortened to a three day game, this morning (Saturday) the players did take to the field in what is expected to be a bore draw. A disappointing end to a fine series, an anti-climax perhaps. England rotated their bowling attack and injuries forced changes for the tourists. The day ended on West Indies 280-8.
England: Slight niggles to Stuart Broad and James Anderson helped England decide to rest the pair, 2-0 up in the series with an unassailable lead Flower chose to give the pair a much needed rest ahead of the one day series (although it is unknown whether Anderson will take part) and the all important series against South Africa. This meant Graham Onions and Steven Finn had their chance to return and shine. XI in batting order:
Andrew Strauss (Captain), Alistair Cook (Vice Captain), Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pieterson, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Graham Onions and Steven Finn.
West Indies: A side strain to Shiv Chanderpaul meant that he was unable to play what might be the last we see of him against England, his unorthodox style will be remembered but eventually forgotten. Narsingh Deonarine was his replacement. Two new caps were handed out with the introductions of Sunil Narine and Assad Fudadin as replacements for Shane Shillingford (presumably dropped) and Kirk Edwards (dropped) respectively. Kemar Roach (injured shin) was replaced by Tino Best. XI in batting order:
Adrian Barath, Kieran Powell, Assad Fudadin, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine, Dinesh Ramdin (Wicket Keeper), Darren Sammy (Captain), Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul and Tino Best.
England won the toss and Andrew Strauss elected to field.
Powell was the first man out. Caught by Graeme Swann off the bowling of Tim Bresnan. Powell edged a good delievery from Bresnan behind into the England slip cordon. Graeme Swann just managed to cling on to the ball, narowlly avoiding a dropped catch. Powell departed having added 24 runs to the West Indies total of 49. This was the only wicket to fall before lunch on day
one three a slightly, may I say it, boring session.
After lunch the West Indies good start began to fade away into distant memory as wickets began to tumble. Barath fell victim to Graham Onions, returning to the England attack after a lengthy time due to a back injury consistently flaring up. Barath had been dropped on 4 & 40 by Ian Bell who was in the unfamiliar position of third slip. Barath’s luck ran out when he reviewed an lbw decision against him, hawk-eye showed that the ball would have hit part of his leg stump. Barath scored 41.
Bravo went in odd circumstances as he appeared to just loop the ball into the air back to Steven Finn. On second, third, fourth etc. look it was still unclear to say the least what he was doing. Steven Finn took the easy chance that was presented to him and claimed his first wicket of the game. Darren Bravo added just 6. At this stage West Indies were struggling at 99-3 and didn’t look like improving. Fudadin was the next man in.
Ian Bell finally made a catch, having two of the easiest chances present themselves to him earlier on, and assisted Tim Bresnan in taking his second wicket of the match. Fudadin jumped in the air to defend the ball, bizarre to say the least, instead of ducking and leaving the ball which any sensible person would have done. The ball worked it’s way to Bell and brought a premature and to Fudadin’s innings of 28.
Deonarine and Marlon Samuels shared a brief partnership before Graham Onions made the breakthrough. Onions trademark wicket to wicket bowling, focusing on the ball hitting the stumps, aids him in lots of LBW dismissals, although this time he got his wicket via a catch from Andrew Strauss. Deonarine scored just 7. The next man in was the ‘keeper Dinesh Ramdin with the score at 152-5.
Marlon Samuels again offered stability for West Indies side, this time he had no partner and suffered as a result. Samuels was given out LBW off the bowling of Tim Bresnan. Samuels reviewed the decision in the hope that when the ball struck him, he was out of line of the stumps. Samuels was unsucsessful in his review and left with a well earned 76, helping his side reach 208-6.
Strauss took another catch this time off the bowling of Steven Finn. The England captain hung on to a good catch after Darren Sammy attempted to play the ball through the covers but could only edge the ball to the South African born opener. The pace and bounce of Finn makes it harder to take slip catches from his bowling but this was a good example of how to catch from arguably England’s best catcher. Sammy scored 16.
The final wicket of the day to fall was that of Narine for 11. Although it will go down in the score book as clean bowled it was anything but. A delivery which was clearly missing the stumps took a huge inside edge and diverted towards the stumps and set them cart-wheeling. The final wicket of the day, falling to the old man of the attack – Graham Onions. West Indies would finish the day on 280-8.
A day’s play lost is a day’s play never to be got back, and sadly that is the case. It is very hard to see past a bore draw for this match – and that means Tim Bresnan will loose his 100% win rate streak. Unless miracles can be pulled off tomorrow it is very unlikely a result will be pulled off. Let’s hope for one, perhaps it will come in the shape of Kevin Pieterson or can Jonny Bairstow introduce himself on the international stage.
Edgbaston will not host any of the 5 test matches for England against Australia in the Ashes series in 2013. Instead the Birmingham ground will be one of the venues to host matches for the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. The formerly named Sophia Gardens in Cardiff will also miss out on an Ashes test match. The welsh stadium hosted the first Ashes test last time out in 2009. In similar circumstances to Edgbaston, Glamorgan’s home stadium will also be one of the venues for the ICC Champions Trophy. Headingley suffers this fate as well.
The Ashes 2013 schedule is:
July 10-14 – First Test at Trent Bridge – England have fond memories of Trent Bridge, including becoming World Champions on this ground and beating Australia here in 2005. Trent Bridge, Nottingham, has never hosted the first match of an Ashes series before but is a favorite of ‘The Barmy Army’. Trent Bridge is the home ground of both Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad so hopefully the familiar surroundings will result in great bowling performances for England.
July 18-22 – Second Test at Lord’s – Traditionally Lord’s, London, has hosted the first test of an Ashes series but in 2009 they were replaced by the formerly named Sophia Gardens. This will happen again in 2013 – Trent Bridge being the first host this time round. Lord’s is the home of Cricket and home of the Ashes. Speaking from past experience, Lord’s produces an Ashes atmosphere like no other and is a certainty for each Ashes series.
August 1-5 – Third Test at Old Trafford – After a brief rest for Australia they will be back at Old Trafford, Manchester, – a ground which has recently been re developed. Old Trafford did not host an Ashes match last time round, partly due to the re developing which was going on at the time. England have usually found lots of bounce and pace in the Old Trafford pitch and with such tall bowlers like Broad, Tremlett and Finn this should come in handy.
August 9-13 – Fourth Test at Chester-le-Street - This is very exciting news as it means Chester-le-Street, Durham, will host it’s first ever Ashes test match, a reward for the fine stadium Durham C.C.C have got. Without a doubt the nicest looking cricket ground in England, Chester-le-Street is situated beneath a castle and has a very nice out field design. Although it isn’t the largest stadium by any means in England, Chester-le-Street deserve this.
August 21-25 – Fifth Test at The Oval – Like Lord’s, The Oval is one of the grounds who is certain to host an Ashes test match. Traditionally hosting the last test match, The Oval will do this again and for the last two Ashes series has been the scene of celebration for England and fans alike. The Oval, London, is one of the biggest grounds in the world and hopefully will be the scene of big celebrations for England again in 2013.
After this there will be two T20 internationals.
August 29 – (Day/Night Match) The Rose Bowl (Hampshire)
August 31 – Chester-le-Street (Durham)
Followed by a five match ODI series.
September 6 – Headingley (Leeds)
September 8 – Old Trafford (Manchester)
September 11 – (Day/Night Match) Edgbaston
September 14 – SWALEC Stadium (Formerly Sophia Gardens) (Cardiff)
September 16 – (Day/Night Match) The Rose Bowl (Hampshire)
England will also host the final ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, Cardiff and The Oval will hold matches and Edgbaston will also lend itself to the competition, hosting the final.
The Ashes is gathering excitement and controversy, still with over a year to go!
The day Kevin Pietersen announced his premature retirement from one day cricket for England, James Taylor showed why he is the man to replace him.
Pietersen chose to retire from ODI and T20 cricket yesterday. The main reason behind his international retirement was the increasing demand on his body and the international schedule. Pietersen did however want to continue playing T20 cricket and has confirmed he would like to play in the World Twenty20 later this year but the ECB stated that you either play both formats of the game or neither so KP has chose the latter.
You can understand Pietersen’s reason to retire from One Day cricket but the timing is a surprise considering England are building up for the 3rd test against the West Indies.
The schedule of ODI cricket in particular is very hard for international players but if the ECB had given Pietersen special treatment and let him retire from ODI cricket but continue to play T20 you might have seen several players following his lead.
The irony is that Pietersen retired with his last two ODI scores 111* and his highest in the ODI format 130. Without him England will be a much weaker one-day team. Pietersen arguably has been England greatest ever one day player. His average in both ODI and T20 is 41.84 and 37.93.
Pietersen’s greatest achievement was helping England win the T20 World Cup in 2010. He was named Player of the tournament and in the final hit 47 from 31 balls to help England chase down Australia score and win the T20 world cup final by 7 wickets..
Pietersen retirement means that England will have a spare space for a batsman in their team. Nobody could come in and replace Pietersen in this England team but one man who deserves a chance is Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor.
Taylor List A record is very impressive. He has played 57 innings with an average of 46.43 and 6 hundreds. His highest score came last night at the Ageas Bowl against Hampshire, he scored 115* off 77 balls and smashed 7 six’s.
Last night’s innings demonstrated how good Taylor is and how he is a thinking cricketer. The first 19 runs were all singles and his first fifty came off 52 balls, his next 64 runs come off just 15 balls. He assessed the situation his team was in and firstly played cautiously then when the time was right he unleashed his big shots.
Taylor has played only one ODI for England against Ireland but was out for just one. He captains the England Lions and even though he is only 22 deserves his chance to replace Pietersen in the ODI team. Hopefully the England selectors pick him in the next ODI squad.
As predicted England wrapped up the 2nd test on day 4, although it was harder than most would have thought. Samuels and Sammy were comfortable for the first hours play before Tim Bresnan once again got an lbw decision. Sammy reviewed to no prevail and was out to leave the Windies 110-7.
In the same over that Marlon Samuels celebrated a half century, Jimmy Anderson got Roach after successfully reviewing the original not out decision. Aleem Dar had said not out to the plumb lbw decision but DRS showed it would of hit the stumps and Roach was gone for a hard fought 14.
The Windies made it to Lunch at 141-8 but could only add another 25 runs before Swann had Shillingford caught at slip for a 22 ball duck, and Jimmy Anderson returned to get the final wicket of Rampaul to leave Samuels stranded on 76 not out.
England required 108 runs to win the 2nd test and Strauss and Cook celebrated becoming the fifth pair to put together over 5,000 test runs by having an opening partnership of 89 runs. Strauss’s departure for 45 brought Trott to the crease and he and Cook comfortably knocked off the required runs to finish on 43 and 17 not out respectively.
After an even first innings show by both teams it was the crucial 2nd innings of the West Indies that decided the game.
The West Indies were impressive in scoring 370 in their first knock but were reliant on Marlon Samuels 117 and Darren Sammy maiden test century.
England responded, and Andrew Strauss got back to back century’s this time scoring 141. Kevin Pietersen also hit 80, where as Trott and Bresnan both contributed scores of 35 and 39.
Then England pace bowlers blew West Indies top order away by the end of day 3 the Windies were 61-6. Anderson, Bresnan and Broad all amongst the wickets and after a further 104 runs were added on day 4. England finally bowled the West Indies out for 165. Anderson and Bresnan both picked up 4 second innings wickets.
England comfortably knocked off the 108 runs to win the game by 9 wickets and take an unassailable lead in the 3 match series going 2-0 ahead. This home series victory is the eight in a row at home. An outstanding achievement.
Andrew Strauss hinted at making chances for the 3rd test and many predict Steven Finn will replace Jimmy Anderson, to give the pace bowler a well deserved rest. Whoever does start the 3rd test will be looking to impress and keep or cement their place for the South African tour later in the summer.
Despite winnings the first two sessions of the day West Indies face a real fight to not lose this test match within 4 days. They did brilliantly to bowl England out for 428 but after limping to 61-6 they have it all to do.
After Roach’s horror show yesterday regarding the no balls, Shillingford joined Rampaul in opening the bowling on day 3 and Pietersen tucked into Shillingford with a boundary off his 2nd ball and but it wasn’t to set the tone for England to pile on the runs.
Rampaul got Pietersen lbw with a wonderful in swinging delivery. Kp eventually reviewed the decision but he and everyone at the ground knew it was out and DRS confirmed that with hawk eye showing the ball clipping the stumps and Pietersen was gone for 80.
Iain Bell was off the mark with a two sweetly timed shots through gully and forward point. Then he was dropped by Ramdin on 15, getting a very small nick off Shillingford. It wasn’t too matter to much as Roach took the new ball and after reviewing the original not out decision Iain Bell was out for 22.
Before Bell’s dismal it took Strauss 15 minutes to face his first ball of the day and despite his obvious record of never hitting more than 6 runs when coming to bat for a 2nd day, he did manage to beat it and their was ironic cheers when he got his 7th run of the morning.
Bairstow replaced Bell in the middle and he received a barrage of short balls from Roach and eventually West Indies got their man, the Yorkshire player was a bit early on the shot and got a leading edge, which went straight up in the air and Chanderpaul took an easy catch.
Prior was next in and after a breezy innings of 16 off 20 balls he was out, bowled after getting an inside edge off Sammy. Bresnan joined Captain Strauss in the middle and England were in need of a partnership to make sure the good position they found themselves in last night was not wasted.
Bresnan survived until lunch, a session that the West indies won taking four wickets at the expense of just 81 runs. At lunch England were 340-6.
Strauss had played a few trademark cover drives before he mistimed one off Sammy that flew in the air down to 3rd man, but Sammy eventually got his opposing captain ,tempting Strauss to mistime a drive and he could only edge to Wicket keeper Randin. The England Captain departed after a magnificent 141 off 303 balls.
Broad took England level with the West Indies with a brilliant punch down the ground that showed why everybody believes Broad can be an all rounder, the timing was superb.
Mid way through the Afternoon sessions Sammy bowled the worst beamer you will ever see. The ball went over Broad’s head and over Denish Randin to the boundary rope for 5 no ball runs.
10 minutes before Tea, West Indies off spinner Shillingford finally got a wicket, after bowling 23 overs Broad was gone for 25 off 46 balls, he mistimed his sweep shot and Sammy took the catch. It broke up the third highest partnership of the innings. Bresnan and Broad put on a 53 runs partnership.
Swann joined Bresnan out in the middle. The last over before lunch Marlon Samuels was brought on and his over turned into complete confusion when bowling his second ball.
Eventually Swann was giving out caught behind but only after Sammy, the man to take the catch celebrated and no one else did. Finally it was reviewed, Samuels probably thought for lbw but hot spot showed the faintest of marks on the bat and Swann was out bowled Samuels caught Sammy for a 1.
Swann looked bemused when the Umpire overturned his first decision and then in good spirit Samuels raised his finger to show Swann he was out.
That brought last man Jimmy Anderson to the crease with England 426-9, a lead of 56 runs. After surviving a first ball lbw shout and failed review by the West Indies, Anderson and Bresnan set about getting England up to a good lead.
As England were now 9 down West Indies had the additional 30 minutes extra to bowl them out or tea would be taken but then for some reason the pitch was deemed unfit, the grounds staff came on and repaired a small part of the pitch, although why tea wasn’t taken when it was meant to was the obvious question considering the repairs could have been done between tea as it took 10 minutes.
Samuels bowled after the 10 minute break and got Anderson out lbw to finish with very respectable figures of 2-14 off 6.4 overs. It hit Anderson straight on the toe and was plumb out. England first innings lead was 58 runs, finishing 428 all out.
West Indies openers came out to bat and in Jimmy Anderson’s second over he bowled Kieran Powell for 1. Powell getting a thick inside edge which sent his leg stump cartwheeling out the ground. West indies were 5-1 and still 53 runs behind.
As Kirk Edwards was off the field unwell when England were batting he couldn’t bat until West Indies are 5 wickets down, so Darren Bravo was the new No3 and he hit a boundary through point to announce his arrival at the crease.
Next out was Barath lbw to Jimmy Anderson, who was bowling exceptionally. It took a while for Asad Rauf to give it out but Anderson enthusiastic appeal helped. This was exactly what Andy Flower would of expected of his new ball bowlers. It left the Windies 14-2 trailing by 44 runs but Chanderpaul was now at the crease, how would he do against a shiny new ball?
The answer was not very good, Broad shared the new ball with Anderson and he got the big wicket of Chanderpaul, out for 11 caught by Trott at deep fine leg.
Swann and Bresnan then came on, replacing Anderson and Broad who were magnificent with the new ball.
Darren Bravo who has been likened to the famous Brian Lara looked very composed for his 22 until Tim Bresnan got one to keep low and although Bravo reviewed the decision he was out lbw, leaving West Indies 45-4, trailing by 13 and in a ominous position.
Samuels and Ramdin took the West Indies into the lead but with 10 minutes to go until the close of play Bresnan got Ramdin again lbw. The late movement was the key, Ramdin out for 6 off 23 balls leaving the Windies 61-5.
Kirk Edwards came in at 5, after being in bed all day with the flu he had to survive for 6 minutes. The first ball he faced Bresnan had a huge lbw appeal but height was the issue. The second ball he faced nothing could save him and he was out for a second ball duck.
Bresnan was outstanding and if Edwards had reviewed the decision it would of stayed out. Figures of 3-10 off 6 overs are brilliant reward for the Yorkshire lad.
First Inning centurion Sammy joined Samuels in the middle and these two are going to need another 204 run partnership to make this game go the distance.
The West Indies dominated the first two sessions but England are in the decency with Windies virtually 3-6 in their second innings, it will be a huge task tomorrow.
England had to face the increasingly hard task of breaking the partnership of Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels, for the first half-an-hour of fancy dress Saturday at Trent Bridge this looked almost impossible. No real ambition or willingness was shown by England, were they suffering from being in the field all day yesterday on one of the hottest days of they year? Or were they being stubborn? Only they know the answer to that. Eventually Tim Bresnan did justify his selection by taking 3 wickets in quick sucssession, including both Samuels and Sammy. Whilst England were under performing Sammy reached his maiden test century, but he’s his own worst enemy and showed that when he threw away his wicket. After the innings change over Cook was out twice off no balls before he was finally out and from there abouts on it was the Strauss and Pieterson show.
Darren Sammy batted well to reach his first international hundred but was extremely lucky in the process. However his luck did finally run out when hitting a ball into the deep whilst facing the bowling of Tim Bresnan. Kevin Pieterson made the ground and made the catch to the delight of the Nottingham crowd. Sammy’s immaturity got the better of him nevertheless he had scored 106 off 156 but would this be all in vain?
Tim Bresnan then proved the key again by taking the important wicket of Marlon Samuels. Samules clearly had no confidence in the lower order West Indian batsmen as after Sammy had gone he averted to a more aggressive style, trying to score runs before time ran out on the tail despite only being 7 down. In comparison England’s number nine is Stuart Broad who has a test 150 to his name. Could this be the difference between the two sides? Samules had added a crucial 117, West Indies were now 341-8.
Roach came in ahead of Shane Shillingford at number nine but now the two were both in the middle trying to add some quick runs to the West Indies total but both failed. Roach became the third wicket of the morning for Bresnan and Shillingford was stumped by the quick reactions of Matt Prior. Roach edged a ball off Bresnan into the slips which was caught by Andrew Strauss, the England captain lunged for the ball and did well to catch it. Impressive fielding didn’t stop there as Matt Prior stumped Shillingford off the bowling of Graeme Swann giving West Indies a grand total of 370. Rampaul was the man not out as Roach and Shillingford finished on 7 and 16 respectably.
Cook and Strauss, often labeled as the best openers in world cricket at the moment, took to the crease for England who needed to post a total in excess of 450 to stand a chance of winning this match. Kemar Roach had Cook out twice but both dismissals were ruled out as Roach had bowled front foot no-balls, the first of many, but Rampaul eventually took the wicket of the lucky Alistair Cook. Cook edged one too many and this one found it’s way into the hands of Dinesh Ramdin. Cook fell for 24, at this stage England were 43-1.
Trott came in and played well before getting himself out LBW off the bowling of Ravi Rampaul. Trott’s technique is now coming underfire as he is increasingly being dismissed leg before wicket. Whether Graham Gooch and the backroom team can help him remains to be seen. Trott added 35 and the next man in was the flamboyant Kevin Pieterson, ready to score lots of runs quickly. England were 123-2.
From that point on England were dominant, Andrew Strauss playing at the top of his game – scoring 18 4′s on his way to yet another test century and working his way up in the England all time run scorers. Strauss will resume on 102 and hope to improve on the awful statistic that on six occasions he has not added more than six runs after resuming play in the morning on a score above 100. Kevin Pieterson played some magnificent shots and will hope to reach a century when he restarts on 72 and delight the Nottingham crowd.
England have some runs to score today and a lot is expected of them. Shane Warne predicts via Twitter that they score 600 and have 45 minutes bowling time and that KP will score 250 by tea. If this happens then England are in the driving seats. Can they live up to the hype? Or will they crack under expectations?
Apologies for the delay.
On a glorious English summer day, although the weather would be far better suited in the Caribbean, England began their mission to restore hope and faith in their national Cricket side by winning the first home series of the summer. The venue would be Nottinghamshire’s Trent Bridge, England have never beat the West Indies here – to be fair this side is very different to the side which last played England at Trent Bridge, a squad consisting of Brian Lara, Richie Richardson, Courtney Walsh and Jimmy Adams among others. England had the momentum having beat West Indies in the previous Test at Lord’s by 5 wickets, with both stand out batting and bowling performances. Today had all the ingredients for a great day’s cricket.
England were unchanged from the side which beat West Indies at the home of cricket, Bairstow made his second appearance for England in 5-Day-Cricket and once again England’s lucky mascot Tim Bresnan beat Steven Finn and Graham Onions to take the remaining fast bowlers slot. England team in full:
Andrew Strauss (Captain), Alistair Cook (Vice Captain), Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pieterson, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (Wicket Keeper), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and James Anderson.
West Indies were forced to replace Gabriel who had been struck by injury, Ravi Rampaul took that place and West Indies opted for spin with Shane Shillingford who replaces Fidel Edwards – who can consider himself extremely unlucky not to be picked for this test, especially as Trent Bridge has consistently aided swing bowling since the redevelopment of the ground. West Indies team in full:
Adrian Barath, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Dinesh Ramdin (Wicket Keeper), Darren Sammy (Captain), Shane Shillingford, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach.
West Indies won the toss and elected to bat.
England began the day fielding after losing the toss, it wasn’t long though before the lost toss has forgotten with Adrian Barath out for a duck. Barath was caught of the bowling of the eleven wicket-haul hero of Lord’s by England’s number one bowler and now fielder, Jimmy Anderson – who took a great catch. Barath played at a ball which was both high and wide of his off stump, producing a top edge which fell into the most comfortable hand on the pitch. Before the game Darren Sammy said he was disappointed by the way West Indies batsman threw their wickets away, he can’t have been pleased with this display from one of his opening batsman.
It was then Anderson who popped up to take the second wicket, dismissing Kirk Edwards who yet again failed to impress. Edward’s salvaged 7 runs before becoming a victim to a bueaty of a delievery from Anderson. The ball swung in late completely baffling the West Indies batsman who was helpless. West Indies were on the point of a severe collapse on day one, the score was now 26-2.
Darren Bravo was the next victim of England’s top class bowling attack. Jimmy Anderson claiming his second wicket of the match Graeme Swann was the catcher this time around. Anderson came in from round the wicket to bowl to Bravo. Bravo attempted some sort of shot but this could only produce a thick outside edge which resulted in his dismissal. Bravo struggled and just added 3 to the total of 42-3.
In almost identical circumstances the wicket of Kieran Powell was taken by Stuart Broad this time around. Just like Anderson, Broad was bowling around the wicket. This produced a poor shot from Powell which found it’s way into the hands of James Anderson at 3rd slip who once again took a catch to aid his opening bowling partner, Stuart Broad. Powell scored 33 runs but perhaps should have built on this score. It was 63-4 and a big run scorer from Lord’s, Marlon Samuels, was in next.
The all important wicket of Shiv Chanderpaul was taken before he could cause any major damage. Grame Swann was the man to dismiss him, like he had at Lord’s – Swann is the only bowler to have got Chanderpaul out this series. Graeme Swan bowled to Chanderpaul the ball appeared to strike either his bat or pad, it was almost impossible to tell. In the end umpire Aleem Dar reached a ‘Not Out’ verdict. This decision was reviewed almost immediately by Strauss and England, replays showed that the ball had struck Chanderpaul’s pad in front of the stumps. England had got their man for 44.
Dinesh Ramdin was the final wicket to fall for England. Still in the afternoon session everything seemed to be against the West Indies, at that point in time. And things weren’t to change, yet. Tim Bresnan took a tiny step into justifying his selection by taking the wicket of the Windies keeper. A good ball that kept low led to the first clean bowled of the match. Whether this was deliberate or not England had taken another wicket and complacency was just about starting to creep in with West Indies 136-6.
England could complete a fantastic first day in the evening session but resilience from Darren Sammy and especially Marlon Samuels led to no more wickets being taken. But the day’s quality entertainment did not end at that point, a partnership of over 150 put West Indies well and truly back in the game. Brilliant batting by Samuels led to his first century in England, displaying good technique and leadership qualities. Even Sammy of all people batted maturely and is poised to claim his first century of his international career. West Indies finish the day on 304-6, whilst Samuels is 107* and Sammy is 88*.
England, especially Anderson, began to get frustrated with the West Indies pair and will need to ‘buck up their ideas’ pretty sharply if they are to take a wicket tomorrow. I have no doubt that tomorrow will be the most important match of the test. If England bowl well than they can take a good lead, but West Indies can also take the advantage with more good batting and perhaps some viscous late evening bowling.
Tempers are hot, the atmosphere is electric and the weather is majestic.
England completed their first test victory of the English cricket season, beating the West Indies by 5 wickets in a match which should have been tighter in the first few days. West Indies looked down and out until the penultimate day, a great stand from Samuels and world number 1 batsman Shiv Chanderpaul, with a partnership of over 150 which put West Indies back in the match. This would turn out to be too little too late. Roach’s fast bowling put West Indies in the driving seat at the end of day 4, his terrific bowling carried over to the final day, taking the crucial wicket of Jonathan Trott early on Monday morning. However, West Indies could only look on when Alistair Cook (79) and Ian Bell (63) won the match for England. West Indies payed for their lousy performance in the first 3 days.
Stuart Broad finished with lifetime best statistics of 11-165. Broad joined the honours board at the home of cricket for the second time, Broad already appears on the batting honours board after his century against Pakistan during the betting scandal which divided cricket and overshadowed Broad’s magnificent ton. Broad’s accuracy and length were the main contributing factors to his 7 wicket haul in the 1st innings and 4 for in the second. Some people doubted whether Broad deserves his place in the England 1st team, let’s just say they won’t believe this any more.
Strauss Hits Back At Critics
A hundred from the England captain Andrew Strauss secured his position in the team. A man of few words and even fewer emotions was so obviously ecstatic and relieved with his ton, criticism heart Straussy deeply – he told the media that he disliked the fact that his teammates had to justify their captain’s selection. A fine innings from a fine player, let’s hope this is the start of a run of form for the South African born England international.
Shiv Struggles To Fight Alone
Shiv Chanderpaul scored big in both innings, the only cricketer to do so. Scores of 91 and 87 added to the ongoing total of test runs for Shiv Chanderpaul, who’s record is by far one of the best around. But it says a lot about your teammates when you are the world’s best batsman but have suffered so many test defeats. Chanderpaul is almost identical to Brian Lara in the way that they both have played in declining West Indies teams, when Chanderpaul mad his debut West Indies were world No.1 now they are 7th, 35 points behind both England and South Africa.
Trent Bridge Hosts Next Installment
Nottinghamshire’s Trent Bridge will host the next match in this series, England will go into this match 1-0 up and with added bonus that the ball has historically swung at the Nottingham ground, good news for Anderson and co. . The other piece of good news for England is that Trent Bridge is the home ground for in-form players Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann. This could spell disasters for West Indies batsman.
Let’s hope the next match will be more of a contest.