Full house at The Oval as England make early breakthroughs

Kate Laven

September 4, 2000

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Cornhill Insurance

England made a sensational start to the fifth and final day of the last Cornhill Test removing both West Indies openers in the first six overs of play.

Under sunny blue skies and in front of a packed and excited Oval crowd, Darren Gough suffered an attack of nerves in his first over, bowling a no ball to get proceedings underway and seeing two further deliveries hurtling towards the boundary.

Adding 15 runs in three overs to their overnight total of 33, the West Indian batsmen were fired up and looking for runs with their sights set on the 374 victory target.

But by his third over Gough found his rhythm, tempting Sherwin Campbell into an attempted cut which sent the ball to Graeme Hick at second slip. With the score on 50, a straightforward chance was missed but with a similar delivery from Gough next ball, Campbell played the same shot and this time Hick seized the chance and England had their first crucial wicket.

Andrew Caddick struck in the next over when an unsettled Adrian Griffiths edged him to Alec Stewart taking the catch low down the leg side, reducing West Indies to 50 for two just 20 minutes into the day's play.

Authorities at the Oval were forced to close the gates when tickets for the last day of the final match of the summer were sold out just 45 minutes after the start of play. It was the first time a Test Match has gone into the fifth day this summer and all 18,500 tickets were sold this morning, making this the best attended fifth day in 16 years when crowd records were first kept. The doors of empty corporate hospitality boxes were thrown open and Surrey stewards put out extra seating to cater for the influx.

The last time, a final day proved so popular was in 1991 when a crowd of 10,500 turned up to see England play West Indies at the Oval and left having witnessed a five wicket win for the home country.

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