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July 4, 2007
West Indies 278 for 5 (Chanderpaul 116*, Samuels 77*) beat England 217 (Prior 52, Rampaul 4-41) by 61 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
It was an impressive resurgence from West Indies after their drubbing at Lord's, especially after they'd been asked to bat in overcast conditions and a day after the ground was soaked by torrential downpours. They assessed the situation early on, forming a solid platform before the late assault from Chanderpaul and Samuels launched them to a strong total. Chanderpaul's seventh ODI ton was a perfectly paced innings off 114 balls and showed the importance of not panicking if early momentum is tough to come by.
No-one could produce a similar performance for England as wickets fell at regular intervals. Alastair Cook and Matt Prior are still getting used to their opening partnership, and the styles they need to play, but Cook made a positive start with three flowing boundaries in his 19 before inexplicably carving to mid-off where Fidel Edwards produced a well-timed leap. However, Ian Bell can feel unlucky with his dismissal after the ball struck him high on the back leg and would have carried over off stump.
Kevin Pietersen hasn't quite seemed at his peak since the end of the Test series and his failed whip across the line, against the impressive Rampaul, ended a brief stay and left England with an uphill struggle. Prior and Owais Shah were in the tricky position of needing to ensure against further loss, while also keeping an eye on the Duckworth-Lewis figures with showers never far away from Birmingham.
Prior again mixed solid defence with some fine attacking shots including - amazingly for a batsman renowned for his power-hitting - the first six of his ODI career when he pulled Powell over mid-on. He went to his first ODI fifty off 71 balls, then in the following over spooned a limp chip shot to midwicket with his job only half done.
England suffered from not having a wicket-taking option in the middle overs - relying on medium-pace throughout - but, sensing the kill, Chris Gayle was able to recall the hostile Edwards at Paul Collingwood. After one searing bouncer, Edwards aimed at the stumps and trapped Collingwood plumb and proceeded to give Shah a working-over too.
The result vindicated the long-awaited move of making more of Chanderpaul's prolific form. After a tour of walking to the middle with his side in trouble, Chanderpaul was finally shifted up the order to No. 3 and was able to build on a 50-run opening platform from Gayle and Devon Smith. His runs came with a sense of inevitability, although for large sections of his innings he didn't set the world alight with the scoring rate.
Chanderpaul flicked and squirted his way to an 85-ball fifty, against accurate but unthreatening bowling, but needed only 29 more to move to three figures. He raced into the 90s by taking 19 off Ryan Sidebottom's eighth over - including a disdainful six over long-on - and he went to 98 with a brazen sweep off Anderson.
Chanderpaul's chief ally was Samuels - normally eager to launch the ball into neighbouring streets - who reined himself in until given licence to thrill in the final 10 overs. After collecting a golden duck on Saturday he found it difficult to force away the medium-pacers and didn't hit a boundary until his 21st ball. Then he was put down by Collingwood - off his own bowling - on 14, a simple catch by Collingwood's standards, before slowly expanding his strokeplay and reached fifty off 83 balls.
Samuels ignited the final 10-over charge by sending James Anderson's eighth over for 18 and was finding his full range when he cut to short third man. Chanderpaul, though, ended in style as Anderson finished with his most expensive ODI figures, including a final four overs that were dispatched for 50. The charge had been timed to perfection and there is still a chance of West Indies leaving the tour with some silverware at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
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