England v West Indies 2007 / News

England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord's, 5th day

Rain washes out England's hopes

Cricinfo staff

May 21, 2007

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West Indies 437 and 89 for 0 (Gayle 47*, Ganga 30*) drew with England 553 for 5 dec and 284 for 8 dec
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details



Poor light and persistent drizzle forced the players off at Lord's © Getty Images
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A mere 20 overs were possible on the final day at Lord's as West Indies and England were frustrated by a depressing combination of drizzle and murky light, leaving the series wide open with three Tests to play.

The match was nicely poised, if slightly balanced in England's favour, with West Indies in pursuit of an unlikely 401 to win with ten wickets in hand. Chris Gayle, the one West Indian with sufficient gumption and class to tackle such a Himalayan task, began the day with two crunching boundaries off Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett. England's opening bowlers were a little better than in the first innings but once again consistently wide; Gayle and Daren Ganga were simply not made to play enough, and the rain forced the players off after just 35 minutes to further reduce England's chances of forcing a victory.

At 3.30pm, the players were brought back on, though conditions were far from comfortable and the light ominously dark. They stayed out there long enough for Ganga to cut his way to 2000 Test runs, while Gayle stood tall to drive Plunkett straight back past him, bringing up the pair's 50 partnership from 74 balls. Yet again, the light deteriorated quickly and the players took an early tea.

Though the rain relented, the light failed to improve sufficiently and, at 5.50pm, play was abandoned. The series is now fascinatingly poised and West Indies can be proud of a fighting, gutsy display in the first Test - from their batsmen, if not so much from their weak bowling attack. After England declared on a mammoth 553 for 5 the fear was that Brian Lara's absence might leave West Indies short of runs. But they fought impressively and, led by Shivnarine Chanderpaul's dogged 74, restricted England's lead to something vaguely manageable. Their bowling remains a concern.

All square for Headingley, then, but England have much to ponder too, not least what side to pick. Both Andrew Flintoff and the captain, Michael Vaughan, missed the Test at Lord's and there are doubts that Matthew Hoggard - who picked up a thigh injury on the second day - will be fit for Friday. Peter Moores' reign has begun in solid style, but the hard work begins now.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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