West Indies v England, 4th Test, Barbados, 4th day

Oh for pity's sake, Sid

Andrew McGlashan in Barbados

March 1, 2009

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Not much went to plan for Ryan Sidebottom on the fourth day © Getty Images
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There's a leg side, too
Ramnaresh Sarwan has been seeing the ball like a football for weeks and hitting it where he pleases, but that hasn't often included the leg side. In reaching his second double century in Tests he had only struck one boundary - a slog-swept six off Graeme Swann - on the on side. If anything supported the fact that England had bowled too wide, this was it. Finally, on 201, Ryan Sidebottom drifted onto leg stump and Sarwan flicked him away to fine leg but it was still a lonely line on the wagon wheel.

For one more referral
England used up their final referral with a hopeful, and wasted, request for an lbw against Sarwan (but they were trying anything at that stage). A few overs later they probably wished they still had it in the bank when Denesh Ramdin glanced Paul Collingwood down the leg side where Tim Ambrose held a neat take. England went up in a huge appeal, but Aleem Dar said not out. Replays suggested a thin edge, and it may not have been enough for an overturn, but with Daryl Harper you never know.

Hang on a minute, Graeme
The bowlers weren't exactly queuing up for their turn as the score continued to mount and shortly before lunch Swann was given a slightly extended reprieve. He was about to be brought back on from the Malcolm Marshall end, but had been off the field and hadn't spent the required time back on the ground. Andrew Strauss had to make a swift change and called in Kevin Pietersen instead as Swann waited for those extra eight minutes to tick away. He was probably thinking that there was no need to rush.

Time to try anything
It wasn't quite Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks, more like the Ministry of Silly Actions. With squat happening for England, the bowlers started to invent things to try and take a wicket. James Anderson delivered with a new action, incorporating a mini-whirl of his arm, and Pietersen bent the rule book to breaking point. With the final ball of his over he sent down a delivery that would have done a javelin thrower proud and it didn't go unnoticed by Sarwan or the guffawing West Indians on the balcony. However, such was the batsman's ease that everyone was able to smile it off. The ICC need not panic on this occasion.

A wicket, by Jove, a wicket
Finally, shortly before tea, England managed to break the sixth-wicket stand and it caught everyone by surprise for many reasons. The successful bowler was Sidebottom, who hadn't looked like ever taking another wicket, and the man he removed was Sarwan who never looked like getting out. However, it was a lovely delivery that shaped back in late and took the off stump. From England's point of view it had just come about a day too late.

Handshake for a hundred
There have been plenty of centuries in this match, and a lot of them have belonged to the bowlers. All the frontliners have gone into three figures and the last to join the list was Stuart Broad. It didn't go unnoticed by his colleague, Anderson, who walked over from mid-off to shake Broad's hand. Broad saw the funny side of it and there wasn't really much else he could do except turn around and run in again.

Swann flips
Swann plays the game with a smile on his face, but he lost it towards the end of the day. First of all he had to watch Sidebottom completely misjudge a swirling catch at deep midwicket, then to top it off Russell Tiffin didn't detect a glove from Daren Powell that went straight to short leg. Swann stood there with his hands on his head, but England didn't have any referrals left. West Indies will feel they were owed one.

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at 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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