West Indies A v England A, 2nd Test, St Lucia, 3rd day March 6, 2006

Solanki and Read put England in charge

Cricinfo staff

England A 201 and 368 for 8 (Solanki 127, Read 107, Richardson 5-89) lead West Indies A 221 by 348 runs

Chris Read hooks on his way to a hundred © The Nation
Hundreds from Vikram Solanki and Chris Read turned the second Test on its head after West Indies A had seemed on course for victory on the third day at St Lucia. By the close, it was England A who were in the driving seat.

The pair came together with England, who trailed by 20 runs in the first innings, struggling at 152 for 5 on a slow wicket after losing James Dalrymple and Rikki Clarke in quick succession. Dalrymple had added 65 with Solanki when he was caught behind for 29 driving Gavin Tonge, and then Clarke recklessly charged Dave Mohammed and was stumped for 0.

Solanki batted for almost six hours for his 127 and Read, who ironically lost his England place in the Caribbean in 2003-04 because his batting was not considered good enough, made 107. Although both perished in the closing overs - Solanki after six hours application in the heat - West Indies will now do well to save this match, let alone win it, although England will be aware that they successfully chased 366 in the first Test.

Solanki had struck one six and 14 fours when he was caught on the cover boundary, while Read hit three sixes and ten fours before becoming the impressive Andrew Richardson's fifth wicket.