West Indies v England, 5th Test, Trinidad, 3rd day March 8, 2009

Amjad spares Collingwood's blushes


Paul Collingwood dropped a sitter at first slip but, fortunately for England, it wasn't too costly. Ramnaresh Sarwan departed not long after © Getty Images
 
Oh Colly…
He is normally one of the safest pair of hands in the team, but Paul Collingwood made an awful mess of a regulation edge early in the day, and of all the batsman to drop, Ramnaresh Sarwan wasn't the best one to pick. Sarwan drove at a well-flighted ball from Monty Panesar and sent a comfortable nick through to slip, but Collingwood couldn't hang on by his left knee. He held his head in his hands while the other fielders consoled Monty, but England were already fearing the worst.

…Amjad to the rescue
But they needn't have panicked, because to the rescue came their great Dane. With his fourth ball, Amjad Khan got one to shape back into Sarwan's pads and the batsman, in such good form, tried to whip it through midwicket but missed. Amjad's appeal was huge, loud and long and eventually Daryl Harper's finger went up. Sarwan stood for a moment, but Chris Gayle - his non-striking captain at the other end - signalled that it was too plumb to waste a referral and the TV replay showed it was, indeed, very out.

Hometown pressure
Lendl Simmons received a loud cheer as he came to the crease on his home ground. West Indies crowds love to see one of their own appear in a Test and willed him to get off the mark. But it took a while as Stuart Broad tested his defensive technique and Panesar tried his patience. However he passed both examinations and finally opened his account off the 24th ball he faced to the excitement of the locals.

Bittersweet century
Gayle is certainly going about this match in his own way, from the team selection to tactics in the field and then his batting display. Yesterday evening he threw caution to the wind and attacked England, but on the third day he was far more circumspect as he settled down for a major innings. However, his century turned from a moment of joy into a moment of anguish, as after sprinting for a tight single that nearly caused his run out, he stayed on the ground in pain and could barely stand up to celebrate the milestone. A few moments later he hobbled off with a torn hamstring with his job far from complete.

Premature celebration
It sounds like one of those spam emails that fill your inbox, but this refers to Amjad thinking he'd removed Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The delivery was well wide of the off stump and Chanderpaul could barely reach it, but the keeper, slips and bowler were convinced they'd heard something. Amjad didn't even bother appealing, sprinting instead towards fine-leg in celebration where he was eventually caught by Andrew Strauss. Only then did they realise umpire Harper had said not-out, and replays showed he was entirely correct as bat had hit ground. Harper then had a quite word to Amjad, presumably about showing the umpires a little respect.

KP feels the beat
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Kevin Pietersen spoke about how he is finding fielding the most difficult task now he isn't captain. "When I go out and stand in the field and I'm not telling anyone where to go and not having to think. I'm just standing there going 'Phewwww! When's lunch?'," he said. To fill his time today he got into the rhythm of the catchy beats coming out of the Trini Posse Stand, starting a little jig in the outfield at the start of the final session much to appreciation of the fans.

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at Cricinfo