England v West Indies, 4th Test, The Oval, 3rd day August 21, 2004

England in seventh heaven

The Wisden Bulletin by Liam Brickhill

England 470 and 4 for 0 beat West Indies 152 and 318 (Gayle 105, Bravo 54, Anderson 4-52) by ten wickets, and won the series 4-0
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details



The celebrations begin for England's cricketers © Getty Images

James Anderson was the star of England's show, grabbing four wickets in West Indies' second innings to set up the whitewash on the third day at The Oval. Despite a brave innings from Dwayne Bravo, and a blistering assault from Chris Gayle earlier in the day, West Indies could only manage a total of 318. It was enough to level the scores, but not enough to save the match, and Marcus Trescothick smashed Fidel Edwards's third ball through the covers to seal the win when England came out to bat a second time.

Anderson's first wicket this morning was the big one. Brian Lara added just 14 runs to his overnight single before he edged a full, swinging ball to Trescothick at first slip (126 for 3). It meant that Lara ended what is probably his last Test series in England without a hundred under his belt, and he left the field with a poignant waved salute to all corners of the crowd.

Gayle picked up where he left off yesterday, and raced to an 80-ball hundred before falling soon afterwards, edging another swinging ball from Anderson to Andrew Flintoff at second slip (155 for 4). Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul then put together an 82-run partnership which temporarily slowed England's progress with some careful batting before lunch.

They had a tough time coping with the swing of Matthew Hoggard and Anderson, who bowled better today than at any other time in the series. But with nothing to play for and no pressure on him, Bravo batted a lot more calmly than usual, watching the ball carefully and playing no unnecessary shots.



Chris Gayle celebrates his whirlwind hundred © Getty Images

Bravo suffered a nasty blow on the back of the helmet from a sharp Harmison bouncer, but kept his composure and slammed the fifth ball of the same over past deep cover for four. He then flicked Hoggard to long leg, and slammed him off the front foot to third man to bring up his second Test half-century. However, Bravo's good innings came to an end in Hoggard's next over, as he shouldered arms to an offcutter and was sent on his way by Darrell Hair (237 for 5), although replays showed that the ball would have missed off stump.

Chanderpaul battled to 32, but then became the second West Indian to be dealt a harsh blow by the umpires, as he was was given out caught behind off Ashley Giles by Rudi Koertzen when the ball had only clipped the pad on the way through to the keeper (265 for 6).

Dwayne Smith went against doctor's orders not to play any big shots while batting today in case he aggravated his side injury, smashing three fours and a six, but after a good start he gave it all away, slicing Flintoff straight to Anderson at point after a promising 28 (285 for 7).

Corey Collymore was given a let-off when he had made just 5, dropped at point off Flintoff, but Anderson, the offending fielder, made amends with the ball two overs later as Collymore was caught behind (312 for 8). With England on a roll, Harmison then beat Carlton Baugh for pace, clipping the glove to have him caught behind for a run-a-ball 34 (314 for 9).

Jermaine Lawson crashed Harmison for four behind point to level the scores, but Anderson then wrapped up the innings, bowling Fidel Edwards for 2. England had to come out to bat again needing just one run for their seventh consecutive Test win. It took them three balls.