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February 6, 2009
Waking up a millionaire
Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were seen walking into the ground before play began, stuffing wads of dollar bills into their pockets. Okay, so that bit is made up but they did come to Sabina Park considerably richer than when they left the previous evening. They woke up to find that they'd both been bought for US$1.5 million in the IPL auction, making them the most expensive cricketers in the world. Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah also had a nice little bonus of US$275,000 each to think about over breakfast. Suddenly, the West Indies scoreline of 160 for 1 didn't seem quite so bad.
Glove, bat or pad?
The referral system has certainly been given a thorough working over during this Test and after the spate of incidents on the second day another one grabbed the attention today. Chris Gayle, on 85 at the time, flicked at a leg-side delivery from Andrew Flintoff and England's strong appeal was upheld by Tony Hill. Gayle immediately asked for a referral and the process started again. Daryl Harper, the TV umpire, wasn't allowed to use Hotspot, so could only work with some fairly unclear pictures. It appeared that the ball brushed the thigh, not the bat, and Hill reversed his second decision of the game.
That's the way to do it, KP
Chris Gayle and Kevin Pietersen are good friends, but they constantly try to out-do each other in the middle. On the opening day Pietersen approached a potential hundred by taking Sulieman Benn for four, four, six before top-edging his glory shot. Gayle went through the 90s in similar style, twice coming down the pitch and launching Monty Panesar over long on. However, with the hundred in sight he then calmly paddled Panesar's next ball down through fine leg to reach his first hundred on home soil. And on Bob Marley's birthday as well. Pietersen will never change the way he plays, but it was a valuable lesson from Gayle.
The difference a day makes
Stuart Broad was the least impressive of England's quicks on the second day, failing to maintain a consistent line and leaking runs at four-an-over. Whatever he did overnight should be bottled for his future. The morale boost he needed came when Gayle was undone by some low bounce, then Broad's next wicket came two balls later when he trapped Xavier Marshall. His spell ended with figures of 8-4-4-2, compared to his previous effort of 8-1-36-0. When the second new ball was eventually taken it was in the hands of Broad and he removed Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Quite a turnaround.
Out of nowhere
It's fair to say that the afternoon session was one for the purists: 47 runs in 30 overs and two wickets. There were just five boundaries between lunch and tea and three of them came in a hurry during a punchy start to Denesh Ramdin's innings. He opened his account with a sweet drive, but the pick was a spanking straight drive off Steve Harmison two balls before the tea break.
Left-armer to left-armer
Suliemen Benn has won the battle of the left-arm spinners so far in this game and was in no mood to concede any ground to Monty Panesar when he came to the crease late in the day. After a loud appeal for a bat-pad catch Benn then thumped the next ball past mid-off for a handsome boundary. Brendan Nash quickly had a word, probably about playing for stumps, but Benn had made his statement to his opposite number.
Also, the closest ODI team match-ups, most catches in a T20, and expensive Test debut five-fors
As West Indies play their 500th Test, here's an interactive journey through their Test history