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England v West Indies Tuesday, 4 July, 2000, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Bring back the flair
Donna Symmonds
Lawyer turned Test Match Special broadcaster Donna Symmonds offers a West Indian perspective on England's thrilling win at Lord's and assesses it's implications for the rest of the series.

After the comprehensive win at Edgbaston to start their 2000 tour of England, it was the view of many that the thing that would worry West Indies most would be complacency.

Having listened to captain Jimmy Adams for the last three months, the possibility of complacency surfacing must be considered marginal.

His mantra during that period has been: there are areas for improvement and harder work needs to be put in on the basics.

Jimmy Adams
Jimmy Adams avoids an Andy Caddick bouncer
Preparation was also very a large part of this "new-thinking" team.

For much of the Lord's Test match, that attitude was very much in evidence. But maybe too much adherence to form and correctness brought about their downfall.

The Windies maintained superiority for a day and a half despite throwing away a potentially impregnable position in the first innings.

Having lost the toss and after being put in on day one, they were 170 for two with Wavell Hinds unbeaten on 55 and in partnership with Brian Lara. The basis for a huge first innings total seemed to have been built.

Better bowling by England in helpful conditions and some misjudgement from the West Indies batsmen reduced them to 267 for nine by the close of play as eight 8 wickets went down for 97 runs.

Curtly Ambrose
Curtly Ambrose reflects on a near thing for Mike Atherton
Unfailingly, after the first innings closed with one ball on day two, Ambrose and Walsh demolished England with another scintillating display of control and seam movement.

Almost perfect line and length, ball after ball, even at their now admittedly reduced pace meant that with eight wickets between them the top score for England was 28 by acting Captain Alec Stewart and they were dismissed for 134,133 behind.

This surely had set the West Indies up for a large lead and every chance of a win.

What happened thereafter is why sport has such an avid audience.

In just over two hours the England bowlers found another level of aggression and accuracy. Andy Caddick appeared reborn and, given such support from Gough and Cork, skittled out the tourists for their lowest ever score against England and their third lowest ever in Tests.

Caddick and co had repaid recent confidence in them and put England right back in the game. Whatever the feeling about this pitch being a bit uneven in bounce, the West Indians cannot be happy with their performance.

No one seemed prepared to take on the bowlers afer Campbell left and the old West Indian flair and improvisation seemed lacking.

It was interesting to hear some of the former West Indian players at Lord's celebrating the 100th Test at Lord's saying: " You think that anyone bowling halfway bouncers at me at 80mph could get away with that, far less get me out?"

Brian Lara
Brian Lara has yet to hit top form
It was a remarkable day. It was the first time four innings had started in one day of a Test match, 21 wickets left and it left England with 188 to win.

England achieved this on a heart-stopping day with 2 wickets to spare. Congratulations and great credit to them for showing real fight. It was always difficult with Walsh and Ambrose fit and firing.

England at 95 for two seemed to be cruising but only just managed to sneak home in a truly enthralling contest. It was only fitting for the 100th Test at Lord's, although some cricket pundits would have preferred five days of entertainment.

So, both Tests have finished with a result and the series is one game all. At the start of this tour there were fears that it would be a marketing consultant's nightmare with two 'bottom of the table' teams fighting it out.

This result has made their job easy.

The batting on both sides is inconsistent. England's bowling is improving and they just need the right balance. The West Indies will be worried that it is still all Walsh and Ambrose. When will Rose and King join the party? 

The teams have a month off for the triangular one-day competition with Zimbabwe and I suspect that, now the excitement of the second Test is over, both will realise that it is time to regroup. 

See also:

03 Jul 00 | Cricket
02 Jul 00 | England v West Indies
02 Jul 00 | Cricket
01 Jul 00 | England v West Indies
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