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Last Updated: Monday, 12 April, 2004, 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK
Windies worry England
Fourth Test, Antigua (day three, stumps)
West Indies 751-5 dec. ; England 171-5

BC Lara
It's a great feeling... but this time we're looking for a result
Brian Lara

West Indies, inspired by captain Brian Lara's world record score of 400 not out, put England on the rack on day three of the Antigua Test.

Lara reclaimed his crown from Matthew Hayden, who had hit 380 in Perth in 2003, and then declared once his team had racked up a huge score of 751-5.

England haemorrhaged early wickets, with Marcus Trescothick and Graham Thorpe playing reckless shots.

Finally, Andrew Flintoff and Geraint Jones steered them to 171-5.

The day began with Lara on 313 and everyone in the ground was well briefed on the significance of the first session of play.

Lara was targeting 381, a score that would see him wrest back the crown he had held for nine-and-a-half years as the holder of the highest individual score in Tests.

He looked slightly nervous at times, and at 359 seemed to offer the faintest of edges to wicket-keeper Geraint Jones off Gareth Batty.

The tough chance was not taken, however, and Lara continued to pick off the runs.

Finally, he decided enough was enough, skipping down the wicket to hit Batty high into the stands for the six that took him level with Hayden's mark.

The following ball was swept fine for four and once again it was Lara's name that was on top of the pile.

Meanwhile, local boy Ridley Jacobs was steadily accumulating runs of his own, assisted by the occasional big shot, as when he clubbed one six off Trescothick and hooked another off Flintoff.

Graham Thorpe
England's fielders spent 202 overs under a hot Caribbean sun

He had reached 107 in a West Indies record sixth-wicket partnership of 282 when Lara finally allowed England's batsmen to have a go at bowling.

It took less than 20 minutes for the first wicket to fall, thanks to an ambitious appeal and a controversial decision by umpire Aleem Dar, who ruled Michael Vaughan had tickled Collins to Jacobs behind the stumps.

Trescothick's dreadful tour continued with some loose footwork and his agony was ended when a loose cut shot off Best was edged to Jacobs.

From 45-2, England needed to buckle down but just nine runs later Best, working up some real pace, yorked Nasser Hussain.

Surrey left-handers Butcher and Thorpe were 44 runs into their partnership for the following wicket when disaster struck twice more.

Collins, somehow getting the swing which had eluded all England's bowlers, bent a beauty through Butcher's defences to bowl him, and Thorpe, having ground out 10 runs, top-edged a pull off Fidel Edwards to long leg.

Flintoff and Jones, on debut, then added an unbroken partnership of 73 for the sixth wicket, steadily leading their side away from the horrors of 98-5.

Jones played some fine cut shots but there were one or two nervous moments for him against the spinners.

Flintoff was dropped by Lara on 27 in farcical circumstances when he attempted to celebrate a slip catch before he had the ball under control.

But most West Indians could forgive the great man that particular indiscretion.


West Indies: B Lara (capt), C Gayle, D Ganga, R Sarwan, D Smith, R Hinds, R Powell, R Jacobs (wkt), T Best, P Collins, F Edwards, C Collymore.

England: M E Trescothick, M P Vaughan (capt), M A Butcher, N Hussain, G P Thorpe, A Flintoff, G Jones (wkt), G Batty, M J Hoggard, S P Jones, S J Harmison,


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