August 18, 2000

England take useful first-innings lead

Cornhill Insurance

England swept into what could be a very useful lead over the West Indies on the second morning of the Fourth Test at Headingley, thanks to an intense, determined seventh-wicket partnership between Michael Vaughan and Graeme Hick that added 98 runs. Well as Ambrose and Walsh bowled, they could take only the wicket of nightwatchman Caddick during the session and their efforts to finish off the England innings were defied by the gallant seventh-wicket pair.

Vaughan and Caddick survived the assault of Ambrose and Walsh for six overs this morning before Ambrose produced a lifter that had Caddick (6) fishing outside off stump and snicking a catch to keeper Jacobs. England were now 124 for six as Graeme Hick, scorer of more than 100 centuries, marched to the crease at number eight.

This was a vital partnership for England and a vital innings for Hick, his Test career permanently in the balance. He survived some early difficulties and succeeded in seeing off the famed duo, gradually becoming more fluent, especially square on the off side. Vaughan played an occasional false shot but otherwise looked as firm as a rock, and the pair were still together when the score passed the West Indian total of 172. The 200 came up in the last over before lunch, when Vaughan was on 37 and Hick 45.