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

England in for test of nerve and character

Fourth-highest chase at Lord's the target for a line-up that has poor previous experience of small chases

George Dobell at Lord's

May 20, 2012

Comments: 87 | Text size: A | A

Matt Prior is bowled by Jerome Taylor, West Indies v England, first Test, Sabina Park, Kingston, February 7, 2009
England's experience in Jamaica in 2009 will be in their minds Jewel Samad / © AFP

Sometimes it is a delight to be proved wrong. Before this series, many of us had assumed that it would require a minor miracle for West Indies to win. Yes, their recent performances had shown signs of promise. Yes, cricket is a gloriously unpredictable game. And yes, England endured a chastening winter. But West Indies have not won an overseas series, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe aside, since 1995. They are missing some of their top players. They have won only eight out of their last 80 Tests, while England, striving to retain their No.1 ranking, have an excellent record in their own conditions. It was hard to be wildly optimistic.

But West Indies have played some fine cricket. They are not the finished article - few teams ever attain that - but, after some truly miserable years, they have given their supporters renewed reason for pride, for joy and for hope. Few, be they from Bridgetown, Brisbane or Birmingham, will resent that. If this proves to be another step on West Indies' journey back towards the top of world cricket, then the game will be all the richer for it.

Let us not get ahead of ourselves. This match is not over. The pitch remains flat and, with Graeme Swann now coming in at No.11, England's batting line-up is deep. West Indies have flattered to deceive a few times of late and they may yet rue the absence of a frontline spinner. But whatever happens on the final day - and the fact that either side could still win is a joy in itself - West Indies have shown they are progressing. On a ground on which England have won five of their last six Tests (and drawn the other), the tourists have proved they are a force with which to be reckoned.

If West Indies do go on to win - and whatever happens, they should take encouragement from this performance - it will prove a cruel result for Stuart Broad. After claiming seven wickets in the first innings, Broad claimed four more in the second to claim his first 10-wicket match. He may yet have a role to play in winning this Test with the bat, but there is little more he could have done to win it with the ball.

It is one of the enduring ironies of a team game that individual excellence is often celebrated more than team success. In years to come when tour parties are shown around Lord's, they will see the honours board and conclude that Broad's performance must have been head and shoulders above that of his colleagues.

While England have come a long way since the debacle of Jamaica in 2009 it is worth noting that five of England's top seven here also played in that game

It is not entirely true. Broad, who became the first England bowler to claim ten wickets in a match here since Ian Botham in 1978, certainly bowled well. But he did not bowl so much better than James Anderson. Not eight wickets in the match better, anyway. Anderson beat the bat as often as anyone and, by conceding fewer than two an over, maintained pressure throughout. Tim Bresnan, too, who conceded 100 for the first time in his Test career, bowled somewhat better than his figures suggested, while Swann claimed the two key wickets - Darren Bravo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul - on a pitch offering him little. The truth is that England bowled as a unit and, on this occasion, Broad reaped the rewards.

It is, however, worth reflecting on Broad's progress over the last ten months or so. Before July 2011, Broad possessed a modest Test bowling record, with 107 wickets at an average of 36.25. Since then, he has claimed 51 wickets at 17.27. He is finally developing into the bowler his talent always suggested he could be. He is still only 25, too.

The improvement is not coincidental. Broad has learned his trade and matured. Where once he would respond to adversity with a barrage of short balls and an outburst of temper, he has learned that it is smarter to maintain a fuller length and continue probing around the top of off stump. He has always been able to move the ball in the air and off the pitch; he has always gained bounce. It is just that he now knows how to use those weapons. His best delivery is probably no better than it ever has been. It is just that he bowls it more often with fewer poor deliveries in between. He is still some way from becoming the Glenn McGrath style bowler to which he aspires but he is heading in the right direction. Indeed, McGrath's bowling average on his 26th birthday - 27.01 - is perhaps closer to Broad's - 30.12 - than might be expected. The best could still be ahead of him.

The fourth day offered a reminder of how Test cricket used to be. With the run rate struggling to climb over two-and-a-half an over and the England attack struggling to gain the movement we have come to expect from them, they were instead obliged to rely on the timeless virtues of discipline, control and patience.

Perhaps England could have bowled just a little straighter to Chanderpaul; perhaps they could have bowled just a little fuller to Marlon Samuels, but these are carping criticisms. They bowled well on a pitch offering little assistance. West Indies just batted admirably.

This was another impressive performance from the tourists. While Chanderpaul's defiance was no surprise - what else would you expect from him? - the contributions of Samuels, Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy were less anticipated. They may yet come to rue the run-outs they suffered in both innings and the ninth-wicket stand between Swann and Ian Bell, but the margins between these sides are not nearly as large as the Test rankings might suggest.

The pressure is now on England's shoulders. An England side that was bowled out for 72 when chasing 145 less than four months ago. The pitch at Lord's tends to remain true but, if England win, it will be the fourth largest run chase in a Test at Lord's. And, while England have come a long way since the debacle of Jamaica in 2009 when they were bowled out for 51, it is worth noting that five of England's top seven here also played in that game. Their nerve and their character will be tested on day five.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: George Dobell

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 5wombats on (May 23, 2012, 20:27 GMT)

@zenboomerang on (May 21 2012, 10:55 AM GMT). You're welcome!

Posted by jmcilhinney on (May 21, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

@JG2704 on (May 21 2012, 08:21 AM GMT), I'm certainly not suggesting that it was a mistake to select Bresnan. Like I said, it was just about a toss up between the two I reckon so I would have been happy enough either way. As Bresnan didn't do much though, I think that it's worth giving Finn a look in too. The more bowlers we can keep Test-match-ready the better. Maybe even get Onions in for the third game, if the situation allows it.

Posted by aclarity on (May 21, 2012, 13:55 GMT)

Fidel Edwards got 9 wickets in his last six tests. He also becomes harmless when he plays consecutive tests. His average pace was about 83mph not 88mph. These are the objective facts but Edwards will be picked for the next test and Gabriel with 4 wickets will be dropped. Noticeably Gabriel bowled only 5 overs in the 2nd innings while Samuels bowled 10. Sammy is setting up Gabriel for the fall. Sammy is the best losing captain and Hillaire continues to fight with the elite players, namely Gayle and Narine. WICB is poor on cricket and worse on Economics.

Posted by JM_RSA on (May 21, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

I am suprised @ how many PPL praise Sammy as a Skipper. To me he was shown how poor he is in this test. Here is a few bad decisions, like insisting on bowling Marlon Samuels in the 2nd Inn when he should be bowling his best bowlers. (e.g. Gabriel bolwed 5 and Edwards 8) by the 47 over. Just shows how he cant manage his bowlers. Samuels is the part timer and he bowled more overs. Having a sweeper for the short ball, pitch too slow for this.

Posted by priceless1 on (May 21, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

what nonsense , England will get their easily ( it was just a miner hiccup at the beginning). all and all This is just a one sided Test match ....:(

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@zenboomerang - Just got back in - listening to bits on radio and Eng are 130 odd -4 so (dare I say it) I think we can see it through. I find radio 4s commentary quite entertaining esp H Blofeld who despite his posh voice is all over the place. Kept saying Eng were ? for 1 even when we were 3 or 4 down. All the best

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

@Makgale Matabane on (May 21 2012, 08:40 AM GMT) Umpires are fair -it was marginal. We've had planty which have gone against us that way. Get a grip

Posted by Technical-1 on (May 21, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

West Indies will lose this match before they do not know how to attack.. Get at England right through the chase! The field set only gives England singles and singles.. Stupid Captaincy.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

All fan that are saying that the super star fail is just playing in the WI top management hand because I know you all are not saying that Lara, Gayle, Adams, Hooper,Walsh, Ambrose, Sarwan, Taylor, Shanderpaul and others are failure the teams they played in fail. Because with saying that you are saying we should get rid of Shanderpaul are saying he is not a star in the team.

Posted by zenboomerang on (May 21, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

@JG2704 :- "I'm actually worried we might even fail to chase the target down. Surely it can't happen again - can it?"... Had to change my reply due to Pietersens shot... I would have said 80% no & that it was up for England to lose as long as the batters respected the WI's bowlers... Hmm, time will tell... ... PS: thank you & 5wombats for your comms the other day...

Posted by zenboomerang on (May 21, 2012, 10:49 GMT)

@JG2704... Yes it is funny that some fans suggest 20/20 players are automatic Test batters - a bit like trying to get a 100 metre sprinter to fit into a 1500 race... A different skill set & training regime, let alone the mental approach... Then there is the completely different fielding & bowling styles used in the various formats... Re: WI's - Gayle hasn't played Tests for 18 mths, so no one really knows where he is at, in regard to form, etc...

Posted by zenboomerang on (May 21, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

@yorkshirematt :- "if they do win tomorrow our friends in India, Australia and South Africa will get just as much pleasure"... Publicly; only those that like to gloat - couch potatoes... I think all sporting fans would like to see the WI's back winning regularly - just not against their own nation :P... lol ... Still, WI made a mistake in not bringing a 1st class spinner into this match after the last 2 series... I would be surprised if England lost this match & series - I just don't see the England players not rising to the occassion... Though Tests can turn out surprising results...

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (May 21, 2012, 10:45 GMT)

@rahulcricket007: Please try reading my post again, this time properly. What I said was: 'it's still hard to accept comparisons between Broad and Glenn McGrath'. In other words I agree with you. It was Dobell who suggested the comparison, or at least suggested that it might be appropriate at some point in the future. @ zenboomerang: I concur with you.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 10:33 GMT)

WI can used the 2000 test for inspiration at lords England given 188 for victory achieve it loosing 8 wickets and a great knock from Cork 33 N/O to achieve it.

Posted by creekeetman on (May 21, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

@ Makgale Matabane, The umpires have been very fair, Trott was not out, and rightly given not out, the replays clearly show it was'nt out as the impact was generally outside the line off off stump, it could've gone the other way, but that would've been harsh, especially first ball. I'm not English, therefore i'm not biased. If a WI batsman had been given out in similar circumstances you proberbly would've complained as well.

Posted by Dude.Cricket on (May 21, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

Having Sunil Naraine would have been very interesting for West Indies. It's a shame that Naraine is playing for his franchise than 1st test @ Lords. Would have loved to see English batsmen dance to his tune. Sunil is a better offie than most in the business now.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 10:05 GMT)

WI lost 4 test match at Lords results 2000 lost by 2 wickets 5days ,2004 lost by 210 runs 5 days, 2007 draw 5 days and 2009 lost by 10 wickets 3 days. The point I am making why is it WI MANAGEMENT AND FANS are elaborating on not losing in 3 days as if this would be a major achievement .

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

Very great fight from WI. I was not expecting such a fight. Well done WI.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 9:51 GMT)

@Blackie, 100% correct my man!!! I too despair at the pleas for the return of the failed 'superstars'. I am more saddened by the fact that guys like Pollard, Russell and Narine are putting T20 cricket first. I just don't know how you can change it, though.... Anyways, come on Kemar!!!!

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

It wasn't so long ago that when the Windies were in the scenario of batting the second innings playing catch-up, they would've folded in the casual, carefree manner that has been the bain of our decline over the years. This time round, despite a wobbly start, the boys dug in and fought, it wasn't pretty to watch, but necessary. Chanders led from the front as per usual and this time round he got support. Samuels showed the maturity and discipline that has been absent from his batting and both Sammy and Ramdin chipped in with cameos as well. With England's depth in batting, they're still favourites to win this, but at least the Windies have given themselves a fighting chance against the odds and will make England work hard for their victory. Who knows, a couple of wickets in the first session and the nerves might set in. But overall, the effort in this match is a positive step in the right direction and alot of encouragement to take into the rest of the series.

Posted by satish619chandar on (May 21, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

This is how you deal test cricket.. Have players who can bat for long and change game to the format.. Have Kirk, Bravo, Chanders who are more suited to play longer version and spirited machines in Ramps, Roach, Sammy to bowl spells continuously.. Better for WI if they can get atleast 4 batsmen who concentrate only on test cricket.. It wont allow them to change their games across formats though they can adapt it naturally.. Better if all teams look out for technically sound players and groom them only for tests and pay them well so that they don't miss the cash rich T20 leagues..

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 9:16 GMT)

WI are still fighting and thinking they are in with a chance, although the 2 wickets that went down were Strauss the opener and the Anderson the normal no.11 and nightwatchmen. So it could be tough for WI to get through the batting lineup all the way down to no.11. But defending totals like these is just not enough. You need to get it right in the 1st innings and do the same in the 2nd. WI just haven't been able to build two consistent innings and that's why they are left to defend low totals or as is often the case in the past get beaten by an innings. WI have to realise not to be too reliant on Chanderpaul and the rest should contribute towards decent totals. Good fightbakc by WI in the bowling and the batting, shows they are no longer the team of old but still room for improvement. So pushing Australia all the way was no fluke.

Posted by soorajiyer on (May 21, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

Feeling so happy and proud of the way Windies have played in this match.. Two crucial run outs this innings is unfortunately going to cost them the match though.. Imagine the bowlers having 275 to defend at lords on the last day... Could have been really tough. Happy for them, being a supporter for them since my childhood.

Come on windies...

But I will be realistic though.. Trott and Cook are too good in the 4th innings of a match and I believe Eng will pull it off :(

Posted by ansarri on (May 21, 2012, 8:55 GMT)

the problem for WI is that England bat deep

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

umpires should be fair i think trott was out first ball

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

I must say good job by Shiv,Marlon, Ramdin and Sammy these names have been around for many years what I see here the problem of youngsters not performing just like team of the recent pass.All this hype of WI have a good chance of winning this test is just base on we looking for anything to justifying this so call Sammy team. Because in all my life I have never seen a test team satisfying with a score of 191.We should just remember how victory is obtain in test match cricket you have to out score opposition and take 20 wickets of the opposition and we WI have not been able to do so weather its LARA, ADAMS,HOOPER,GAYLE and now Sammy until this start to happen I will just watch and see.

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

@jmcilhinney on (May 21 2012, 04:19 AM GMT) To be honest it's swings and roundabouts re selections etc. Bres has (pre test) the best SR and Ave of the 3 pacers used.And pre test had a better ave than Finn although not such a great SR. If Finn had played and wasn't picking up wickets and dropping runs I'm sure we'd have been asking where Bres was.For me - I thought a 4 man attack would skittle WI in Eng but I now am starting to think that a 5 man attack may be the way to go permenantly. I mean when did Bopara and Morgan make a telling difference at number 6? Apologies if I've submitted this before

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

@GeorgeWBush on (May 21 2012, 01:30 AM GMT) The caps lock king is always quantity over quality

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

@jmcilhinney on (May 21 2012, 04:19 AM GMT) To be honest it's swings and roundabouts re selections etc. Bres has (pre test) the best SR and Ave of the 3 pacers used.And pre test had a better ave than Finn although not such a great SR. If Finn had played and wasn't picking up wickets and dropping runs I'm sure we'd have been asking where Bres was.For me - I thought a 4 man attack would skittle WI in Eng but I now am starting to think that a 5 man attack may be the way to go permenantly. I mean when did Bopara and Morgan make a telling difference at number 6?

Posted by zenboomerang on (May 21, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

@AdrianVanDenStael :- "I certainly hope that his (Broad) batting doesn't develop like McGrath's in future"... I guess you mean his overall average, to which I agree :) ... Otherwise Pidgeon actually did improve his batting as the years went by with regular coaching by Steve Waugh, but never to anything significant - I think 124 matches with one 50 says it all... Still, Pidgeon never realized his greatest dream - to hit a 4 to win a Test... Even the greatest can't always fulfill their closest wishes...

Posted by jackiethepen on (May 21, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

What I'm pleased about is that the West Indies have shown how necessary the right attitude is - stars are one thing, a team is another. They are fighting as a team and that makes them twice as strong. That is why Sammy is such a good captain. That is why Strauss is such a good captain. Sammy's face says it all. He's there for his men, encouraging them and praising them. The West Indies will always find talented cricketers - they are like Pakistan in that respect - but finding the right leader and the right coach is always harder. Durham appreciated Otis Gibson when he played for them. He was a rock. He is surely the right man at the right time. Good Luck to the Windies. I hope England win but if they do they will have earned it. The benefits of Test cricket are obvious. It teaches the qualities we all admire. Good for Broad. Good for Strauss and Bell who put on the runs needed, who had something to prove under pressure.

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

@blackie on (May 20 2012, 23:52 PM GMT) - Nail on the head my friend. I remember one Indian on here saying what a joke it was that Gabriel was chosen for this test after day 2 and yet he ended up with the best bowling figures. Fair play to your guys however the 5th day goes and for those who say Gayle would have made a huge impact - he averaged 25 last time he toured England and for those who wanted to shoe in Bravo etc and wanted Samuels out - would Bravo have scored 80+ in a backs against the wall situation in the 2nd inns?

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 8:02 GMT)

@satspeare on (May 21 2012, 00:51 AM GMT The delivery was clearly hitting the stumps.It was shown to be clearly hittling leg stump. It doesn't have to be hitting halfway up middle stump to be out for god sake and also I believe we had one in the 1st inns where if we reviewed it would have got him - I think when he was in his 40s. Yes if the decision was in SCs favour it would have been overturned but the umpire gave it and it was hitting. If a batsman was bowled out just by the ball clipping one of the bails should the wicket not stand ? Ridiculous post?

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 7:55 GMT)

@Mitcher on (May 20 2012, 21:58 PM GMT) - You are right. BTW I am an English fan and was giving Aus plenty of credit , esp the way Clarke captained the side and won (i think it was the 1st test) from a dormant position

Posted by JG2704 on (May 21, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

@IndnCrktfan on (May 20 2012, 21:39 PM GMT - Fair analysis although I thought Bres bowled ok until Sammy came in. In fact although we could not break through I thought we bowled ok on a generally docile looking pitch. As others put , Finn might have done better but hindsight is an easy thing and Bres actually has the best SR and Ave of all the bowlers we are using and we wouldn't have dropped Broad or Jimmy. Broad actually has the worst SR/Ave but like you I feel when fully fit he could be our best bowler ATM.Personally I'd have had Finn in instead of a number 6 batsman , but this isn't a kneejerk reaction - anyone who has read my posts will know that I've always preferred trying the 5 man bowling attack

Posted by Dashgar on (May 21, 2012, 7:33 GMT)

Many people said this test series would be a waste of time. That England completely outmatched West Indies in every area. That each match would be decided by an innings and then some. We're seeing now that the Windies are very capable of competing and are in a position where they could pull off a famous upset. If they go to the 2nd test 1-0 up then who knows what could happen. Gotta love test cricket.

Posted by johntycodes on (May 21, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

I like the way west indies have gone about batting in the past year. They are playing proper test cricket and instead of losing inside 3 days the matches are always going to day 5.

Posted by anver777 on (May 21, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

Not only for Eng, even WI will be tested today !!! whatever a thrilling finish is on the cards !!!!

Posted by Rahul_78 on (May 21, 2012, 5:13 GMT)

This is it for WI boys. They have come preciously close to something special. If you want to get recognition and glory in test cricket then nothing like beating POMs at Lords in early season when wickets are green and there is ample swing in the air which suits perfectly to the home team. If Roach or Edwards can manage to carve their name on the precious honors board then it will be really sweet for Sammys boys and shut the English media, pundits and ex-cricketers for good. We all are rooting for the underdogs..surely WI can not let this one slip up. (Yeah what a relief this test has provided from mindless assault of IPL for last 1 month)

Posted by venkatesh018 on (May 21, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

Whatever the result it has been such a relief to view this Test match at Lords(despite the pathetic lifeless Lords pitch). It is such a refreshing change from the mundane cricket going on in India in the name of the IPL. With the weather forecast for a clear day, I am waiting eagerly for the start of the final day. I cannot say that for one IPL match, not even the playoffs.

Posted by Saffalicious on (May 21, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

What a pleasure to see such fine test cricket. Occupation of the crease is a forgotten term in the modern day and the Windies remembered that on the 4th day commendably. I have to say that I thought England bowled well given the conditions, but the windies just batted better. Trott is going to be the hurdle. He has the ability to exclude all else and stick around much like a Shiv or a Kallis. I am quite impressed with Roach and Edwards will improve as well.

As for England, they have some huge improvements to make if they want to be competitive against the likes of Steyn, Philander and Morkel.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (May 21, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

I have been an England supporter for most of the time I have followed international cricket from 1954. Sadly, there have not been many periods over these years when England were on top of the world in cricket. When they beat Australia in the 2005 Ashes it was a tremendous feeling but soon after they were thrashed in the return Ashes series in Australia.When they beat Australia in the last Ashes series played Down Under, with most of the teams of the world sliding down,it was reasonable to expect that England would stay at the top for some time. That belief was blown away when they lost 3-0 to Pakistan in the Abudabi Tests and that was completely unacceptable for a team claiming to be World Champions.They just could not play spin, left arm or right arm and that is nothing for champions to be proud of.Now they are recieving a bit of Old world pace from the true masters of fast bowling.And they are showing signs of cracking up. It never pays to be pompous in glory.Humility triumphs always

Posted by venkatesh018 on (May 21, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

Congrats first of all to both the umpires and players of both teams for continuing to play under lights upto 6.30 pm in the gloom and gathering darkness. You did a great service to Test cricket. Wonder how the superstars of the Indian test team and their mindless media would have reacted if they had been made to play 4 overs and lost 2 wickets of their chase in these conditions?

Posted by jmcilhinney on (May 21, 2012, 4:19 GMT)

It must have been just about a toss up between Bresnan and Finn for the third seamer spot and, while he's been mostly economical, Bresnan hasn't really done much to justify that selection so far. While Bresnan is a good bowler and could easily come back strongly next game, I also think that it's important to give Finn a chance to see who might be England's best options for SA. Bresnan didn't bowl badly but I can't help feeling that Finn may have been a bit more dangerous and help restrict WI more in that second innings.

Posted by Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on (May 21, 2012, 4:12 GMT)

The Windies have played much better in this match than in any of the three home games against Australia, winning more sessions this game than in that series. Or have they met a more equal opponent? The Windies are one great bowling spell away from a major upset.

Posted by landl47 on (May 21, 2012, 3:41 GMT)

Great effort by WI and whichever way it goes, the spirit in the WI side is good to see. England probably bowled a little below par (and it would have been nice to have Finn's extra pace and bounce) but Chanda, Samuels, Ramdin and Sammy all batted very well. The WI might regret omitting a top-class spinner on a fifth-day pitch, but Roach looks the real deal. If WI can get another couple of wickets before the shine wears off the new ball, it's going to be a nail-biter tomorrow!

Posted by yocasi on (May 21, 2012, 2:36 GMT)

Windies will win shortly after lunch. Prior will be the only significant obstacle. Three pumped up speedsters going @ over 90 MPH will blow away the Commonwealth Eleven. Unadulterated pace is the weapon for tomorrow.

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

This West Indian team has heart. If it wins tomorrow the victory will be as famous as the one at Lords in 1950. The pundits wrote off West Indies on Saturday and they all predicted that the Test would end before lunch on Sunday. Well now we are in the fifth day and it could still go either way. Hats off to both teams for playing tight competitive cricket. Chanderpaul may have been in his own world but he seems to know a lot more than we do. If England wins it would not detract from the fact that West Indies' credibility has increased by leaps and bounds in this Test.

Posted by svg27rivers on (May 21, 2012, 2:11 GMT)

Well said blakie couldn't have said that better.

Posted by NAZMO-CRICKFANN on (May 21, 2012, 1:57 GMT)

well blackie preach it again preach it everyday... maybe just maybe it will on dayresignate to some.thank you for your contibution

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 1:55 GMT)

Well England are in the box seat but WI do have a real chance if they bowl well. A few early wickets and its sweaty palms time for the England fans, I'm just glad they don't have a spinner on a 5th day pitch.

Posted by Hodra99 on (May 21, 2012, 1:48 GMT)

Where is the front foot lunger?? His precious English team at home in the freezing cold, are just that. Roach will rip them apart tomorrow. Go Windies!

Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 1:44 GMT)

The commentators say that this match was going to end in three days what are they going to say now

Posted by NAZMO-CRICKFANN on (May 21, 2012, 1:33 GMT)

wow, only a few days ago they wrote us off called us wiffs and strays.. now all of a sudden they are writing 'the west indies are a force to reckon with" all of a sudden its there wiriiten above " the Gap between west indies and england is not that wide as the standings suggest " can you beleive these pple ? faith my fellow west indian faith.. it requires a lifetime i know of one such west indian fan we call him the brown baby goat.. gotta love him thick or thin win or loose he is there with the faith.. a true comrade and inspiration for us

Posted by aclarity on (May 21, 2012, 1:32 GMT)

Hillaire's interview at Lords on May 19, 2012 was quite revealing. He indicated that the WI can not compete with the IPL so the best option was to increase the pool of potential cricketers. His lack of Economics is disturbing for a person in his position. He doesn't understand that WI is small and its resource base is very limited. How many teams in the regional tournament made over 250. How many potential stars were unearth since Lara? Since you can not compete with the IPL, then you should adopt the next best solution. Identify the marquis players (2 or 3 at most) and pay them to forgo the IPL (about 60% of IPL) and appeal to their WI heritage. Stop fightin them in public. On your track, even if you unearth good players you will lose them to IPL. With our resource base this is a negative sum game for WI.

Posted by GeorgeWBush on (May 21, 2012, 1:30 GMT)

Redneck. Not sure which part of the sentence "He is still some way from becoming the Glenn McGrath style bowler to which he aspires" has got you frothing at the mouth. Nobody is saying that Broad is as good as McGrath or anything even close to that. McGrath was one of the all time great fast bowlers. Everyone in England knows that very well. We did suffer him bowling England out enough times. All the article is saying is that Stuart Broad looks to McGrath as a bowler he should try to emulate. He will probably never get there but if you shoot for the stars and fall a little short you will still find that you have improved substantially along the way and that is only to be applauded.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (May 21, 2012, 1:28 GMT)


Posted by aclarity on (May 21, 2012, 1:15 GMT)

I generally agree with Holding but on Sarwn as a possible captain he is very wrong. Sarwan last played for WI againts India in the West Indies in 2010. He failed miserably. In fact, since Sarwan and Devon Smith were hit by pace bowlers they have never been the same. Sarwan now runs away from real pace. Have you taken a look at his regional or test recored since 2009. Sarwn ran from Sharma in 2010 and will do so against Lee, Roach, Gabriel, Cotteral, Broad, Tait, , Steyn, Mockel etc. Please leave Sarwn in the 2nd division in the UK. He is at home with 75 - 84 mph bowlers. Holding take a look at the video post 2008. Carter and Pagan are the upcoming batsmen in the region..

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (May 21, 2012, 1:15 GMT)


Posted by BravoBravo on (May 21, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

@blackie: I totally agree with your displeasure regarding the persistent clamor about recalling some ELITES. Now ENG has to work really hard to win this match. IMO this match is heading for a tight finish. The better team will win. ENG is the best side while WI is a highly spirited team. A loss here will not label either team as a bad team. Good Luck to both teams.

Posted by satspeare on (May 21, 2012, 0:51 GMT)


Posted by   on (May 21, 2012, 0:29 GMT)

So where are those fine Englishmen including Front-Foot-Lunge who whiled their winter ridiculing Australia? Pah, a 2nd string rebuilding Aussie side showed much better character playing WI at their home. And here we have the alleged No.1 side bowling first against WI under grey skies at home in helpful conditions and still relying on marginal umpiring decisions to stay ahead in the game!

Posted by RandyOZ on (May 21, 2012, 0:21 GMT)

Big trouble in store for England. Getting rolled for 51 in the Windies will be weighing heavily on their minds. Strauss fails when under pressure once again; very Tendulkar like. Aleem Dar proves again why he is such a good umpire but Trott should count his lucky stars because that looked very very close when played live!

Posted by S.N.Singh on (May 21, 2012, 0:11 GMT)



Posted by Meety on (May 21, 2012, 0:04 GMT)

@yorkshirematt - my primary pleasure IF the Windies win would be that they would finally be delivering on their talent, however, I would then reflect on SOME English comments regarding Oz's recent series win against the WIndies & would slip a few gloating comments in, (although I will try & quote first)! @Windiesfolife - an admirable loss against a superior team is better than a meek capitulation - just ask any Bangladeshi fan!!!! @Godfrep Pieters - well said. England should get the runs, however IF the WIndies bowl with discipline, they should make it take at least 2 sessions, with some rain or bad light, they could make England have to take risks to win. As the article more or less says though - it would be the 4th highest successful run chase, over such a long history, there must be a reason for it! @Silverbails - interesting topic you raise, could Chanders sneak into an all time WIndies XI? Trouble is he'd have to boot out either Richards, Lara or Sobers! Tough ask.

Posted by blackie on (May 20, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

Every time I read someone else calling for the return of Gayle, Sarwan, Taylor, Bravo and company, I grimace. PEOPLE, Can't you remember not very long ago we were getting slaughtered with these 'stars' in the team???. We weren't even making it to day 4 in Tests. Its not that these guys aren't talented cricketers. In fact, in some cases, they are even more talented than some of who we now have. It clearly isn't talent that makes the difference people. ITS COMMITMENT TO WEST INDIES CRICKET FOR GOD SAKES. Can't you understand. Our present team is performing better than a Windies team has for years because a sense of unity, commitment and purpose which was missing before has been restored. As a true Windies fan, I am praying that if the 'stars' return, they allow themselves to be converted to the new gospel according to Sammy and Gibson: team, hard work, commitment to Windies first and unity. Let us all pray!!

Posted by redneck on (May 20, 2012, 23:42 GMT)

where do you poms get off comparing broad to the great mcgrath. NOT IN THE SAME LEAGUE!!! glenn did it for 15 years, took over 500 wickets, talked the talk then backed it up by walking the walk!!!! broads got nothing in common with the great man! mcgrath avg at lords 11.5 broads is 27. both good figures but no guesses as to which figures belong to an out and out legend of the game and which belong to a pommy bowler playing in home conditions against the 8th ranked team in the world!

Posted by Silverbails on (May 20, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

Well, what a day for Test cricket. One can only congratulate Shiv Chanderpaul on his heroics, once again, for the W.I.. He's surely confirmed his entry into the pantheon of Windies greats of all time. Tremendous player, and he's given the Windies team a chance of toppling England. Now, it's the turn of the Windies quicks to bowl like their illustrious predecessors, with speed, guile and accuracy. They may yet rue not having a topline spinner, but the 5th day of this 1st Test is going to make for gripping viewing. Can't wait!! Other teams, particularly the washed - up OD wonders, the Indians, could certainly learn a tremendous amount from watching just how Shiv bats in testing conditions...

Posted by   on (May 20, 2012, 23:22 GMT)

West Indies can beat England. West Indies used to beat England bad bad bad. These are the same blokes that West Indies beat time and time again. West Indies can beat England. Me no fraid England (I am not afraid of England)

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (May 20, 2012, 23:01 GMT)

That was a great contest. I expect England through the good offices of Cook and Trott in particular to win this by tea but I do not expect it to be a walkover. But as No.1 side by a whisker England HAVE to win it to stay believable. Well done to Windies though and of course to Broad who has really blossomed in the last year. I found Strauss's reluctance to use Swann puzzling and irritating, though his attacking fields at times were encouraging. Swann troubled the best players even on this wicket as is obvious from his wickets. Bresnan though economic looked lacklustre and anonymous.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2012, 22:55 GMT)

i love how people think wi have a chance.... Sure they got strauss but come on the 2nd wicket was only anderson, a bowler.... englandwill still dominate this test... the batting lineup is probably the strongest one around so i reckon englandwill smash this team... and it wont take long

Posted by   on (May 20, 2012, 22:54 GMT)

One look at the req'd runs to win & u will say that's not enough. Some might say 250 would have been ideal. I will call this total a tantalizing one. Eng will always feel they can get it, & they will have go for it. Chasing on a 5th day is never easy. 2 wks r down & WI tails r up. Our attack is good. ENG wouldn't be able to score at3.5 as in the 1st inns. If they r going to win it will be at tea or just after. Enough time for anything to happen to the pitch. Swann is bullish is phsyco. The ENG r worried, WI have nothing to lose, we r the underdog. Look out for Sammy. ENG(13/8); WI(2/1);Draw(10/1).

Posted by Kays789 on (May 20, 2012, 22:36 GMT)

Nothing miraculous here mr. Dobell. it's just that english cricket has been woeful for so long, and now that they have a fairly decent test team, the english media has started immortalizing the mediocre. this english team is very beatable under most conditions and if you wrote the windies off before a ball was bowled it only goes on to show the smug english attitude/mentality that is based on nothing but a few good performances at home.

Posted by Windiesfolife on (May 20, 2012, 22:07 GMT)

So are we going to celebrate another Windies loss? A loss is still a loss no matter how good the loser performed. These "admirable" and "fighting" performances by the West Indies need to translate to victories! Darren Sammy may be a likable and enthusiastic guy, but he is neither a good enough batsman nor bowler to get into a decent test side. How is it that the Jamaican regional 4 day team that have won 5 consecutive championships, only has ONE of its players playing for the West Indies? The jamaican team led by Tamar Lambert can beat this West Indies side anytime!!

Posted by Mitcher on (May 20, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

And here I was starting to believe those certain England fans' constant boasts that this series would show how truly appalling it was that Australia had to fight for their wins in the recent Carribean series. Oh well guys, you'll get one right soon enough.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (May 20, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

Well I am one englishman who would love to see the west indies become a force once again and would not mind if they won tomorrow and the rest of the series, but they must perform like this consistently, no off days like the second day of this test. Just imagine if they had their full side here.................. It's just a shame that if they do win tomorrow our friends in India, Australia and South Africa will get just as much pleasure out of it.

Posted by StatisticsRocks on (May 20, 2012, 21:39 GMT)

What a fight back from the WI team on day 4 coz of which they have a slight chance of winning this game. all depends on the first hour of the 5th day morning. I hope it's cloudy and the sun stays away for a while to make it interesting. A lesson or two should be leaned by the Indian team. The big difference is we went with star players and WI are in ENG with a team with a lone star in Chanders. It was good to see Eng bowlers including Jimmy getting frsutrated on home Ground. Broad was very good and provided break throughs consistently and confirming my argument that he is by far Eng's best bowler. The tour to India later this year will confirm that. Why not play Finn in place of Bresnan who looked quite ordinary. He showed his frustration by throwing the ball back at Ramdin after his defensive stroke, IMO an un-sportsman like conduct from Bresnan. Staruss got a snorter from Roach which just proves no one batsmen in the world is good at facing short pitched delivaries.

Posted by maddy20 on (May 20, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

A very fine analysis. Like most others I have expected England to roll over West Indies by lunch especially after the position they were in yesterday evening. That being said, West Indies need to get Sarwan back into the side in place of the constantly failing Kirk Edwards. I wonder how much closer the match would hae been if Gayle, Bravo and Sarwan were playing. I am well and truly impressed by their performance though and I hope WICB resolves all pending issues with their senior players and play at full strength soon. Thats their only chance of winning consistently. As of now I am hoping for an exciting finish to this test match though my gut feeling says England will stroll home with atleast 5 wickets to spare.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

Tomorrow aids for a exciting day of cricket...8 wickers for the W.I and 181 runs for the # 1 side.. some said the ay will finish by day three with England whooping a young inexperience side...Cricket is still a game of great uncertainty, whoever clams the pursuit tomorrow...and who will bend their head in awful sorry ...Test Cricket...

Posted by PACERONE on (May 20, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

It is ironic the way LBWs are reviewed.Chandepaul's LBW was just clipping the leg stump and Trotts was hitting middle and leg.More bowled than Chanderpaul,but one is out and the other not.I guess it will all even out for batsmen either way.Trott was completely beaten and Chands was playing and aggressive stroke

Posted by RohanMarkJay on (May 20, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

C'mon Windies topple England you can do it. Its wonderful to see the West Indies play like this, I am supporting the West Indies, hope they win the match and the series. Knock over rated England off their top spot. They don't deserve to be there, even though they are a fairly good cricket team.

Posted by PACERONE on (May 20, 2012, 21:19 GMT)

Win or lose W.I have shown the Englishmen that they are not that far ahead of them.When W.I batsmen learn that stroke play is the best defense and don't give their wickets away leaving balls too close to their stumps the English bowlers will look ordinary.English batsmen have a way of just dodging LBW decisions..by pushing their pads out side the off stump.W.I batsmen should learn from them,Not sure of yourself..push forward on your front foot instead of playing back or on the crease. Two early wickets tomorrow and the struggle will be on.

Posted by   on (May 20, 2012, 21:09 GMT)

There have been few 10-wicket stands in test history. But, indeed, it would be great for the West Indies to win again. Consistently. They surprised the Aussies at home, without winning. Their young batsmen look promising. I have always enjoyed Fidel Edwards, after seeing him bowl a 150km/h spell bouncing out SA at newlands after a long day in the field. Kudos to them. No three-day debacle on show.

Posted by AdrianVanDenStael on (May 20, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

Well though Broad has bowled in this game and being as imaginative as possible about Broad's future development, it's still hard to accept comparisons between Broad and Glenn McGrath (and for Broad's sake I certainly hope that his batting doesn't develop like McGrath's in future). On a different note, the partnership 'between Swann and Ian Bell' to which Mr Dobell refers was in fact a ninth-wicket stand, not a 10th-wicket stand (and certainly not a '10-wicket stand').

Posted by JG2704 on (May 20, 2012, 20:24 GMT)

Full credit to WI for showing so much fight and determination - no matter how it all pans out. Would WI with Gayle,Bravo etc have scored more than this in the 2nd inns? I doubt it although no doubt there will be some folk who will say that WI would have scored 500+ with Gayle,Bravo , Pollard etc in the side and would have skittled Eng out quick with Narine bowling despite WI also fighting back well with the ball yesterday. I'm actually worried we might even fail to chase the target down. Surely it can't happen again - can it?

Posted by Dooglar on (May 20, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

Also, to support my previous post, I share with you the latest headlines in the BBC page, regarding the England-West Indies series.

Swann bullish on England chances 20 May 2012

Day four as it happened 20 May 2012

England closing in on Lord's win 19 May 2012

Strauss ton gives England control 18 May 2012

Broad's six wickets puts England in charge 17 May 2012

West Indies' six to watch 14 May 2012

West Indies in England 2012 28 Sep 2011 England

What a sharp swerve my good friends at the BBC will take by lunch, tomorrow.

Posted by Dooglar on (May 20, 2012, 20:04 GMT)

As observed earlier, by this poster, and in this forum, the English media has been simply playing a game, hoping to deflate teh West Indian players' spirits. Well, it didn't work this time. We have a band of competitive cricketers, lead by Darren Sammy, who are about to deliver a shock that may just bring London bridge tumbling down.

Not that I'm overly impressed, becasue I've never considered England to be the #1 team in the world. That honour would have to go to the Saffies. So, a win against England would be great, coming on their home turf, but thats al- just a win.

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Tour Results
England v West Indies at Nottingham - Jun 24, 2012
England won by 7 wickets (with 2 balls remaining)
England v West Indies at Leeds - Jun 22, 2012
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
England v West Indies at The Oval - Jun 19, 2012
England won by 8 wickets (with 30 balls remaining)
England v West Indies at Southampton - Jun 16, 2012
England won by 114 runs (D/L method)
Middlesex v West Indians at Lord's - Jun 13, 2012
West Indians won by 228 runs
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