England v West Indies, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 3rd day

The unlikeliest of failures

Andrew Miller at Lord's

May 8, 2009

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Shivnarine Chanderpaul is smartly caught by Ravi Bopara at silly point, England v West Indies, 1st Test, Lord's, May 8, 2009
Shivnarine Chanderpaul failed for the second time in the match © Getty Images
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Statement of the day

Aside from his brief debut innings, about the only error that Graham Onions made on a memorable second day came with his first delivery, a long-hop loosener that was belted for four by Devon Smith. Twenty-four hours and five wickets later, he dropped short again with his first ball of the second innings, but this time he did so with far greater intent. Lendl Simmons stood tall and attempted to pull, but the ball was onto him far quicker than anticipated, and struck him flush on the helmet.

Belated arrival of the day

There are, in case it escaped your notice, two debutants competing in this contest. But while Onions has been the toast of the Test, his fellow newbie, Tim Bresnan, has been left to graze in the outfield and ponder his personal misfortune. He received a shocker of an lbw decision while batting on the first day, he was surplus to requirements during the first-innings rout, and his solitary over on the second evening came moments before the offer of bad light. It wasn't until 2.15pm on the third afternoon that he was finally given a proper chance to turn his arm over, but his six-over burst made little impression.

Arrested developer of the day

Devon Smith has been living on past glories for longer than most cricketers have ever managed. In a six-year career, he has managed a solitary century in 30 Tests - against England in Jamaica in March 2004 (Harmison's Test, no less), and until his 55 at Barbados two months ago, he had not posted a half-century for three-and-a-half years. In this Test, the qualities that have enabled him to retain his place melded perfectly with the reasons why he should be evicted. After a composed 46 in the first innings, he followed up with 41 in the second. The ball that did for him was a jaffa - full, fast and zipping back late - but the failure to progress was sadly familiar.

Improbable failure of the day

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has rightly earned the reputation as the rock of West Indies' batting line-up, so his twin failure in this match has been a hefty set-back to their prospects. After a first-baller in the first innings, he managed 4 from five today, as Graeme Swann once again got the better of him at a crucial juncture of the innings. It was a notable double-whammy for Chanderpaul, whose tally of four runs in a full two-innings Test match is the lowest he has ever recorded in 15 years and 120 Tests. With Kevin Pietersen also registering a golden duck, the two most notable batsmen in the contest have faced seven balls between them.

Resistance of the day

In Chanderpaul's absence, West Indies' rearguard was placed in the hands of his acolyte, Brendan Nash. Another nuggetty left-hander with powers of concentration far in excess of those of his team-mates, Nash produced a gem of an innings, at once obdurate, defiant and counterattacking. He made his maiden Test century when these teams last met in Trinidad, and continued in that confident vein with 81 from 139 balls.

Partnership of the day

After a collapse of 3 for 9 in 12 balls, West Indies looked to be hurtling to a defeat as ignominious as England's own first-Test hammering in Jamaica three months ago. But then, belatedly but encouragingly, they rediscovered the grittiness that had been their hallmark during the Caribbean campaign. The sun came out and the swing disappeared, but nevertheless, while Nash and Denesh Ramdin were adding 143 for the sixth wicket, a sheen of pride was restored to a tarnished performance.

Drop of the day

Seconds after Ramdin had raised the hundred stand with a fierce cut past point, he offered up the chance that could have sealed the contest before tea. It was nothing more than a limp poke back towards the bowler - the ball looped off the leading edge after stopping a fraction in the pitch - but Onions was caught unawares in his followthrough, and having reached out with his right hand, was unable to cling on. By the time Broad extracted Ramdin with an off-stump beauty, the innings defeat had been all but obliterated.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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