August 17, 2000

England bowlers dominate opening morning

Cornhill Insurance

A rampant England team shattered the West Indian top-order batting in a superb performance in the field on the first morning of the crucial Fourth Test at Headingley. The top five in the list, Brian Lara and all, were bundled back to the pavilion with only 60 runs on the board, and at the interval England were still on top with the West Indian total 83 for five.

Campbell appeared positive and Griffith edgy as West Indies went in to bat; the positive one was first to go, however, driving overenthusiastically at a swinging ball from Gough and slicing a neck-high catch straight to Trescothick in the gully. West Indies were 11 for one, Campbell 8.

Caddick beat the bat frequently, but perhaps pitched a little too short to take wickets; Gough was more expensive but more dangerous, although he did not break through again. Hinds had made 16 when he drove at a ball from White that moved in, found the gate and apparently the inside edge, and was caught by wicketkeeper Stewart, the latter's 150th Test catch behind the stumps. West Indies were 50 for two.

Lara's first ball was short and he whipped it easily to the midwicket boundary. It was to be his only scoring stroke, though, as he padded up to a ball from White that moved back and hit him at the top of the knee roll, to be given out lbw; 54 for three. Two runs later Griffith (22) was next to go, slashing recklessly at a ball from Gough well outside off stump and, to his obvious fury, edging another catch to Stewart. Then Sarwan got off the mark fortuitously with an edge off Gough that flew uppishly between slips and gully.

Adams, so often the one to hold the innings together, failed this time, having only two runs to his credit when he drove at White outside the off stump and played the ball on to his stumps off the inside edge. West Indies were reeling at 60 for five, and White had taken three wickets in 17 balls. Further scares were in store, as Sarwan was given not out by umpire Doug Cowie, hooking at Gough and well caught by a leaping Stewart; the replay appeared to show the ball hit the wrist or slightly above it, and therefore an excellent decision. Then Jacobs only just got back in his crease in time as an underarm flick from Vaughan hit the stumps.

After this, Sarwan and Jacobs settled down and were unbeaten at lunch, with 22 and 5 respectively.