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Last Updated: Friday, 30 July, 2004, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Windies follow Flintoff lead
Second Test, Edgbaston, day two (stumps):
England 566-9d v West Indies 184-2

Andrew Flintoff
I tried to rely on technique rather than just power
Andrew Flintoff
West Indies were trying to fight their way back into the second Test after Andrew Flintoff struck his highest Test score to put England on top on day two.

Flintoff's entertaining 167, which included 17 fours and seven sixes, propelled the hosts to 566-9 declared.

Skipper Brian Lara (74 not out) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (87 not out) then steered the Windies to 184-2 at stumps.

They had slumped to 12-2 early on after Matthew Hoggard removed openers Devon Smith and Chris Gayle cheaply.

Flintoff, who was dropped on 79, put on 170 for the sixth wicket with Geraint Jones (74).

The Lancashire all-rounder eclipsed his previous best Test and first-class scores, 142 aginst South Africa last year and 160 against Yorkshire in 1999 respectively.

He fell to Dwayne Bravo, who returned 4-76 and stood out in an otherwise bitterly disappointing Windies attack.

If the match was evenly poised overnight at 313-5, it took England no time to redress the balance.

The first hour of play saw 84 runs scored, with Jermaine Lawson the main culprit, his five overs costing 49 runs.

Brian Lara
Lara (above) and Sarwan have given West Indies hope

Flintoff raced past 50 - becoming the first England player since Alec Stewart back in 1996 to do so in six successive Tests - but he was not content with that.

He was not bombproof, with two streaky flashes that flew over Lara at slip preceding a return chance to Lawson that was put down.

But his play deserved some luck, and he thrilled the crowd like only he can with a flurry of big shots over mid-wicket and down the ground.

Jones was anything other than a silent partner, two cut boundaries in one Lawson over highlighting his contribution.

But he fell half-an-hour before lunch when feeling for Corey Collymore outside his off-stump and edging behind, reducing England to 432-6.

Ashley Giles survived a dropped catch by Lara at leg-slip to move to 24 before sending a Bravo full-toss to Shivnarine Chanderpaul at mid-wicket.

Flintoff raced to 150 and beyond with three sixes in one Omari Banks over, but was on his way when Bravo duped him with a wickedly flighted slower ball that trapped him in front.

Matthew Hoggard
Hoggard's two early strikes put the Windies on the back foot

Three runs later James Anderson fell for two on his 22nd birthday, and at 525-9 the end looked nigh.

But Steve Harmison and Hoggard had other ideas.

It was not the 41 runs they scored together nor the fact that Harmison's 31 was a personal best that made their stand remarkable.

It was the manner with which an 11th-wicket pair was able to keep the Windies attack so effortlessly at bay.

Harmison took Lawson for 14 in one over and both batsmen tried audacious reverse sweeps, but the ultimate ignominy came when Michael Vaughan called his destructive tailenders in, their job with the bat done.

Hoggard carried on with the ball, removing Smith (caught) in the first over of the reply and bowling Gayle around his legs just before tea.

Sarwan, out for one and four in the first Test, looked determined to play himself into form with positive strokeplay.

He knocked returning paceman James Anderson out of the attack after just three overs, while Lara played his shots as well, particularly to Harmison.

The pair moved serenely through the evening session, during which they added 160 runs, but with the deficit standing at 382 England remain in the box seat.


England: M E Trescothick, A J Strauss, R W T Key, M P Vaughan (capt), G P Thorpe, A Flintoff, G O Jones, A F Giles, M J Hoggard, S J Harmison, J Anderson.

West Indies: C H Gayle, D S Smith, R R Sarwan, B C Lara, S Chanderpaul, D J J Bravo, R D Jacobs, O A C Banks, C Collymore, P T Collins, J Lawson.

Umpires: DB Hair, SJA Taufel.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC Five Live's Pat Murphy



Interview: England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff




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