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Page last updated at 18:54 GMT, Saturday, 16 May 2009 19:54 UK

Jonathan Agnew column

Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

West Indies
The Windies players had little to celebrate on another cold day in the north-east

Despite losing an entire day's play to rain, England are still quite capable of winning this match.

The West Indies batting and application has been woeful throughout this short tour and they have looked in no mood for a fight in the chilly conditions here.

Add to that the fact that the ball is now spinning, albeit it slowly, and England know they have a real chance.

West Indies prospects are improved by the fact that their best, and most obdurate batsmen - Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul - are still at the crease.

It was good to see England batting positively to set up the tea-time declaration.

The tempo was lifted by Kevin Pietersen, who came to the wicket after the loss of James Anderson, determined to rediscover his form.

His footwork was very positive and he played a couple of imperious straight drives before trying to loft Sulieman Benn down the ground and giving point a simple catch for 49 off 57 balls.

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He certainly looked fluent, and his example was followed by Matt Prior who made 63 from 83 balls.

It is easy to look busy and enthusiastic when you are on top, which partly explains why there was such a contrast between the two teams in the field.

West Indies looked utterly deflated and flat - not helped by their natural and understandable inclination to thrust their hands deep into their pockets.

There was no chatter or obvious verbal encouragement for the bowlers. It really looked as they hated every minute of it.

England's fielders dashed to their positions between overs - Graeme Swann and Prior apparently having a race: it looked as they meant business.

Chris Gayle's humour won't have improved after his lbw decision either.

Playing no shot to James Anderson, he was despatched by umpire de Silva, and had to be virtually dragged away from the crease.

A very tall man, Gayle was struck high up on the pad and replays suggested the ball would have passed comfortably over the off-stump.



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see also
Anderson puts pressure on Windies
16 May 09 |  England
Pitch can help England - Anderson
16 May 09 |  England
Strauss hits back over Gayle row
13 May 09 |  Cricket
England seal emphatic Lord's win
08 May 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
West Indies in England 2009
04 Dec 08 |  Cricket


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