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March 10, 2009
Chris Gayle's tactics were clear throughout this match but on the final morning he took them to new levels as he wasted as much time as possible. Endless field changes, discussions with his bowlers and general mooching around used up time and only 24 overs were bowled in the morning session. The England fans were far from impressed as they gave a slow hand clap at one stage, but Gayle just took it in his (slow) stride and gave them a clap back.
KP claps Shiv
Tensions grew as West Indies went slower and slower. At one point Kevin Pietersen went to have a word with Daryl Harper; between each ball there was every effort to delay the game - not that Pietersen was blameless, asking for messages, glove and bat changes. When Pietersen swung a delivery into the deep and was gifted a second by Shivnarine Chanderpaul's wayward throw he then sarcastically clapped the fielder for his error. There was clearly no love lost on the final day on what has otherwise been a well-mannered series.
Non-striker saves four
As the lunch break approached England threw the bat at everything and when Stuart Broad creamed a straight drive off Fidel Edwards it had four written all over it. Well, it would have done except Pietersen got in the way at the non-striker's end. The ball was struck so cleanly that he didn't have time to get out of the way as the ball crashed into his arm and past the stumps. The question was asked if KP would have been run out if the ball had struck the stumps, but it has to come off a fielder.
England needed some early inspiration if they were to believe there was a chance in pulling off victory and Paul Collingwood provided a moment. He dropped a sitter in the first innings (although it didn't prove costly), but the snaffle he pulled off from Lendl Simmons' outside edge was the grab of the series. It was a rapid nick that flew low to Collingwood's right at second slip where he flung down his hand and grabbed it an inch off the turf. Simmons left straight away but then paused by the rope when the dressing room saw replays, but the umpires quickly shooed him away. The reaction from everyone was 'out' - not least the batsman and catcher.
Fractions and millimetres
Matt Prior has missed almost as many balls as he has collected in this match, but he nearly pulled off a brilliant stumping against Ryan Hinds. The batsman played forward and was beaten, they momentarily raised his foot. Prior watched and waited, then flicked the bails off but hadn't quite got his timing right and Hinds' toe was back on the ground. It was a nervous few moments, though, before the green light flashed.
Trial by TV
After what has happened in this series it was inevitable that the referral system would have a say on the final day. Devon Smith and Shivnarine Chanderpaul both tired unsuccessfully to save themselves from leg-before shouts against Graeme Swann, but it was Hinds who really wished he'd had one left. He was far from impressed when given out caught off Monty Panesar but there was nothing he could do about it. England didn't get it all right, either, with Panesar - who still struggled to tone down his appealing despite a fine - wasting the team's final ask with a silly call against Chris Gayle.
Hero for a second time
Fidel Edwards will be getting used to saving Test matches. He did it in Antigua and now he's done it again, blocking out eight balls from James Anderson and Monty Panesar to secure a famous series win. But he might like to remind his team-mates that he's picked for his bowling, not his batting, so maybe they don't want to leave it to him all the time. Even if he is getting rather good at it.
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?