August 18, 2000

West Indies reeling as England sense victory

Darren Gough
Darren Gough has Wavell Hinds lbw
Photo © CricInfo

England sensationally tightened their grip on the second day of the Fourth Test against West Indies at Headingley. A fine partnership between Michael Vaughan and Graeme Hick gave them a lead of exactly 100 on first innings, and at tea they had the tourists reeling against the ropes at 23 for four, with Darren Gough having taken all four wickets on his home ground.

Cornhill Insurance

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.

Ten runs came off the first over after lunch, bowled by McLean, and Hick romped past fifty, only to give his wicket away on 59 so easily that his critics will be after him again. He came down the wicket to Adams, missed while playing a nondescript push, and provided Jacobs with the easiest of stumpings. England were 222 for seven after a partnership of 98.

White failed to score, chasing a ball from McLean outside off stump to be caught at the wicket. After reaching his fifty, Vaughan opened up to play some fine leg-side strokes in particular, but fell to a poor shot outside the off stump, caught at the wicket for 76, as soon as Ambrose took the second new ball; England 269 for nine. Another three runs were added before Gough (2) skyed Walsh to be caught at mid-off by Griffith; Cork, benefiting from a bad miss off a skyer before scoring, was unbeaten with 11. A total of 272 gave England a lead of exactly 100.

England soon struck sensationally, with Gough bowling Griffith through the gate with the first ball the latter faced, and with his next delivery beating Hinds and trapping him lbw; West Indies 3 for two. With the score on 11 he trapped Lara for 2, adjudged lbw without playing a stroke for the second time in the match, although some felt the ball might have missed off stump.

Campbell (12) was next to go, also to Gough, with Hick at second slip taking a fine diving catch to his right; West Indies were 21 for four. They went in to tea with Adams on 4 and Sarwan still to score.