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June 13, 2007
Peter Moores said Monty Panesar's persistent appealing during England's third Test win against West Indies was simply a sign of his enthusiasm and not an example of unsporting behaviour. Panesar finished the match with figures of 10 for 187 at Old Trafford as England won by 60 runs to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.
It was the first time in a decade an England spinner had taken ten wickets in a Test but Panesar's achievement was almost overshadowed on Monday by a succession of increasingly desperate appeals which might have seen him charged under the ICC Code of Conduct. As it was, umpire Aleem Dar made do with warning Panesar, reminding him to appeal to him first before celebrating a wicket.
However, Moores was satisfied with Panesar's conduct and he praised Dar and Billy Bowden for the way they dealt with the pressures of a hard-fought final day. Asked if Panesar's appealing represented an attempt to put pressure on officials, Moores replied: "Not really, because I know it's genuine. I think good umpires do understand that in many ways the enthusiasm and the excitement of the game can suck players into it. When the umpire says not out then Monty stops which I think is fine, it's when people go again that isn't right. I thought all the appealing that went on was fine."
With West Indies chasing what would have been a fourth innings Test record total of 455 to win, on a pitch taking turn, Moores said plenty of Panesar appeals were inevitable. "There was always going to be a lot of hits on the pad and a lot of bat-pads going on and there was going to be that sort of tension in the game," said Moores.
Panesar even appealed when a rogue ball bounced so much it hit Shivnarine Chanderpaul on the head. Afterwards Panesar said he'd struggled to keep his cool. "You want to take wickets and you want the game to go forward and it was a very testing period for myself, but I have to stay calm, put the ball in the right areas and let the pitch do the work," Panesar said. "Aleem told me to appeal before I start celebrating. I guess I get a little bit excited when I'm out there."
England have opted for a four-man attack during this series with Panesar the lone specialist spinner. Moores said an increased workload had benefited Panesar. "The fact we've used three seamers has allowed him to bowl a bit more and from that he's stepped up again and he's shown what a quality bowler he can be," Moores said. "He's learning all the time and getting better and it's very exciting to see spinners in the game because they create a different type of pressure."
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