August 5, 2000

West Indies reduce first innings deficit

Old Trafford, tea: West Indies 157 and 35 for no wicket; England 303

Cornhill Insurance

England probably found the going harder than they would have liked on the third day. They lost three quick wickets, but some sound batting down the order eventually enabled them to total 303 by the time they were dismissed soon after 2.30, a lead of 146. By tea the West Indies had reduced the deficit to 111 without losing a wicket.

England resumed at their overnight score of 196 for three, but were soon to lose both opening batsmen. Alec Stewart (105) fished at Curtly Ambrose's second ball, just outside off stump, and snicked a regulation catch to keeper Ridley Jacobs, while Trescothick (66) was unluckily bowled off the pad by Walsh. When King bowled White (6) through the gate, England were 210 for six, and Michael Vaughan needed to consolidate with Dominic Cork.

When Ambrose took the second new ball just before lunch, he soon had Cork (16) caught at the wicket in similar fashion to Stewart; England 251 for seven.

After the interval Croft went for his strokes impressively, but Vaughan's stabilising innings came to an end at 29, driving at Ambrose to be caught by Lara at first slip; England 275 for eight. Caddick (3) was adjudged lbw to Ambrose, then Croft (27 not out) and Gough (12) batted breezily for the last wicket before the latter swung at King and the thick outside edge was caught by Ambrose at third man. Ambrose and Walsh, not unexpectedly, had taken four wickets each.

England began the West Indian second innings with some purposeful bowling, but Sherwin Campbell and Adrian Griffith were not to be cowed. They had a couple of tense moments early on, but kept the score moving and were still unbeaten at tea, with 21 and 12 respectively.