England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord's, 4th day July 25, 2004

England take control despite Gayle's attacking 81

The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill

West Indies 416 and 114 for 3 (Gayle 81) need 364 more runs to beat England 568 and 325 for 5 dec (Vaughan 101*, Flintoff 58)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Michael Vaughan: second century of the match © Getty Images

England took the honours in the final session on the fourth day at Lord's despite a whirlwind 81 from 88 balls by Chris Gayle. The bowlers grabbed three top-order wickets to put West Indies in a precarious position before bad light stopped play seven overs early, on a pitch that is getting trickier to bat on.

Gayle was aggressive from the start, smashing Matthew Hoggard through the covers twice in the first over of the innings, but Ashley Giles struck in his first over, trapping Devon Smith on the crease for 6 to put West Indies on the back foot (24 for 1). Ramnaresh Sarwan didn't last long, falling in identical fashion to his first-innings dismissal, lbw to Hoggard (35 for 2), but Gayle showed what good form he is in, collecting boundaries all around the wicket as he raced towards a half-century. He was lucky to get there, though, bringing up his 50 with an edge between Geraint Jones and Marcus Trescothick off Stephen Harmison.

Gayle was determined to play his natural game, repeatedly smashing Harmison over the off-side fielders and slog-sweeping Giles for a huge six over midwicket, before Harmison knocked back his stumps with a fast yorker via the inside edge (102 for 3). The first-innings centurion Shivnarine Chanderpaul should have been out first ball this time, as a ball from Giles popped up off the glove straight to Robert Key at short leg, but Giles was denied his 100th Test wicket by a rare poor decision from Rudi Koertzen. Chanderpaul and Lara batted with extreme caution from there on in, until they were offered the light by the umpires and hared off the field.

Earlier, England had seized control of the match after lunch as Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff smashed 92 off 11 overs to set an imposing target of 478 for victory. Flintoff raced to his half-century from only 38 balls, smashing six fours and two massive sixes, while Vaughan reached his second hundred of the match with a mixture of classic and improvised strokes. Vaughan is only the third player to score a hundred in each innings in a Lord's Test, after George Headley for West Indies in 1939 and England's Graham Gooch, who made 333 and 123 against India in 1990.

West Indies had done well in the morning session, taking three wickets in the first hour, but a 116-run partnership between Vaughan and Graham Thorpe wrestled the match back England's way. Trescothick was the first to go: after taking his partnerships with Andrew Strauss past 500 runs since they first opened together, against New Zealand at Lord's earlier this summer, he was completely undone by a perfect inswinging yorker from Pedro Collins (86 for 1).

Strauss was frustrated by some controlled West Indian bowling, crawling to 35 from 103 balls before he pulled Collins out of the middle of the bat but straight to Sarwan at midwicket (104 for 2). A mix-up resulted in Key's run-out shortly afterwards, as Vaughan pushed the ball into the off side and set off for a single without calling, stopped, then ran again. West Indies' fielding hadn't been great in this match until then, but this time a direct hit from Chanderpaul caught Key well short of the crease (117 for 3).

However, Thorpe steadied the nerves with an assured 38 as England took control of the match - and they never let go, as Vaughan and Flintoff with the bat, and then Giles, Hoggard and Harmison will the ball, made England strong favourites to win this first Test some time tomorrow.

Liam Brickhill is editorial assistant of Wisden Cricinfo.