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Last Updated: Monday, 16 August, 2004, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Battling England seal series
Third Test, Old Trafford: England 330 & 231-3 beat West Indies 395-9 dec & 161-9 by seven wickets

Key and Flintoff shared an unbroken stand of 120
England wrapped up a series victory over West Indies with a seven-wicket win in the third Test, chasing an Old Trafford record 231 on the final day.

Rob Key was the star with 93, sharing a partnership of 84 with skipper Michael Vaughan, who made a battling 33.

But the match was in the balance until Andrew Flintoff joined Key, making 57 in an unbroken stand of 120.

England bowled the tourists out for 165 first thing, Steve Harmison taking the last wicket to finish with 4-44.

The victory was the home side's sixth win in succession, extended their unbeaten streak to 10, and saw England record an unprecedented three successive series wins over West Indies.

But the Caribbean attack threatened for much of the day and, had two chances been taken, the match could have swung in a very different direction.

To get 200 is a great feeling but that was even better
Rob Key
Vaughan top-edged a pull shot just out of reach of wicket-keeper Carlton Baugh when he had managed just a single run.

With first innings centurion Graham Thorpe slated to bat only in an emergency because of his broken finger, the state remained parlous.

And the tourists gained in confidence when Vaughan edged off-spinner Chris Gayle's first delivery of the innings, a ball of surprising bounce, to slip.

The visitors were given an ideal opportunity to further their cause when Key, already on his second-highest Test score at 57, edged to Sylvester Joseph at second slip off Collymore.

But the ball again failed to stick and proved to be another cruel blow for the veteran seamer, who had bowled an impeccable line all day and could easily have dismissed Key several times in single figures.

His partners in the attack were less threatening, with both Pedro Collins and Fidel Edwards inconsistent and England wise to the wiles of Dwayne Bravo, who took a first innings 6-55.

Fidel Edwards blazed away with deliveries over 90mph but struggled for rhythm, conceding six no balls.

In all, Key faced 177 deliveries, with six fours in an innings arguably more valuable than his 221 at Lord's.

Flintoff showcased his new-found maturity to his home crowd but could not resist two sixes off Ramnaresh Sarwan, the first bringing up his half-century.

The previous highest winning last-innings score at Old Trafford was 145, set by England against South Africa in 1955

England had twice this summer passed 280 batting fourth, both against New Zealand, but this was still a far-from-simple proposition.

Trescothick is bowled
Trescothick fell to Collymore with just 15 runs on the board
Their first task was to finish the West Indies innings, a job they took just 11 balls over as Steve Harmison had Edwards caught at slip for figures of 4-44.

But with the new ball swinging and variable bounce available from a wearing pitch, they endured a difficult start.

Marcus Trescothick looked out of touch before he was bowled through the gate.

But Andrew Strauss, who also made 12, appeared far more settled before pulling Pedro Collins to midwicket.

From 27-2, England battled to lunch, adding 29 more and had to wait through a break extended by half an hour because of a brief shower.

The heavy clouds threatened Old Trafford for most of the afternoon and early evening.

But the storms that ruined much of the first - and the whole of the second day - held off as England's fortunes became increasingly bright.


England: Michael Vaughan (Capt), Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Robert Key, Graham Thorpe, Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones (Wkt), Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard, Stephen Harmison, James Anderson.

West Indies: Brian Lara (Capt), Chris Gayle, Sylvester Joseph, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Carlton Baugh (Wkt), Dave Mohammed, Corey Collymore, Pedro Collins, Fidel Edwards.




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