England v West Indies, 2nd npower Test, Chester-le-Street, 4th day

Blows below the belt, and over the boundary

Andrew McGlashan at Chester-le-Street

May 17, 2009

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The ball balloons off Ramnaresh Sarwan's glove, England v West Indies, 2nd Test, Chester-le-Street, 4th day, May 17, 2009
Ramnaresh Sarwan got a serious working-over from Stuart Broad © Getty Images
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Blow of the day
A cricket ball travelling at close to 90mph can cause real pain if it hits you - especially in a certain delicate area of the body. Ramnaresh Sarwan was facing James Anderson when a thunderbolt jagged back and struck him a precise blow in the box. Sarwan immediately keeled over in pain and writhed around on the ground in agony. The England players huddled round in concern, but when it became clear that Sarwan would recover the odd smirk and chuckle began to emerge. Sarwan needed a few swigs of water and a couple of deep breaths before resuming. He may have also have needed to ask the umpire, how many balls remaining?

Best no-ball of the day
Perhaps one of the most important no-balls in England's fairly recent history was the one that allowed Andrew Flintoff an extra delivery at Ricky Ponting during that thrilling over on the third day at Edgbaston, in 2005, which the Australia captain edged behind. Stuart Broad managed something similar here, albeit in more low-key circumstances. He'd overstepped in his 10th over, but with the seventh delivery he found Shivnarine Chanderpaul's edge from round the wicket to give England a key breakthrough during the morning session.

Working-over of the day
Broad was England's star performer during the opening session as he showed the value of someone able to run in and hit the pitch hard. As the home side struggled to shift Sarwan for the umpteenth time in recent months Broad went into bouncer mode and gave him a real roughing-up. It was clearly a planned move as Andrew Strauss brought in a short leg and one ball nearly took the glove to Alastair Cook. Next over, Broad skimmed another past Sarwan's helmet before the best of the lot reared at his throat, taking the glove as the batsman tried to fend it away and the ball looped into the gully. It was a top quality performance to remove a top quality batsman.

Miss of the day
It's early days for Tim Bresnan's Test career, but if he finishes without a wicket to his name he will look back on the chance that went begging this afternoon. Coming round the wicket to Sulieman Benn he found the outside edge which flew at a neat catchable height on a line bisecting the wicketkeeper and first slip. Neither man moved for the catch, though, and the edge flew away to the boundary. It was going well to the right of Strauss at first slip so it's fair to say it was Matt Prior's catch, especially as he's the one wearing the big gloves. All Bresnan could do was hold his head and hope another chance comes his way.

Shot of the day
After the final day of this game it's back into coloured-clothing mode, which will make Chris Gayle feel much better. The way he came out and started his second innings suggested he was already in one-day mode, particularly the stand-and-deliver drive over mid-on that carried the boundary for a huge six. James Anderson, who was happy to give Fidel Edwards a chirp earlier on, didn't mutter a word and just turned on his heels to prepare for the next ball.

Over of the day
This could easily have gone to Broad, but it only seems fair that Graham Onions gets a mention for his late double-strike to remove Sarwan and Gayle. That's a decent pair of wickets especially after it had been a rocky start to the second innings for Onions as Gayle tucked into some short balls. However, Onions responded by trapping Sarwan lbw then got his revenge on Gayle when the West Indies captain edged a lifting delivery to first slip. The crowd wasn't huge, but they gave the home-town boy a hearty ovation.

Dedication of the day
Sarwan's century seemed to mean a lot him as he screamed in celebration and punched the air. At the end-of-day press conference it became clear why as he dedicated his ton to a friend from Trinidad called Zalina who recently passed away. "I'd like to dedicate this hundred to a very close family friend of mine who passed away about two-and-half weeks ago," he said. "I met her when I was about 13 or 14 and she has been very supportive of me over the years. I'd like wish her family all the best."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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