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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
England dominate as Windies slump
By Paresh Soni

Third Test, Old Trafford, day two (close): England 370 & 34-1 v West Indies 229

Monty Panesar took four wickets as West Indies collapsed spectacularly
Panesar took advantage as the Windies collapsed feebly

Monty Panesar and Ryan Sidebottom put England in charge of the third Test against West Indies on a bizarre day.

There was no hint of the chaos to come when Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett produced a wildly erratic display.

But Panesar took 4-50 and Sidebottom 3-48 as the Windies slumped from 216-4 to 229 all out within 44 deliveries.

England led by 141 after Ian Bell had hit 97 in their first-innings 370, and added 34 for the loss of Andrew Strauss for a duck to lead by 175 at stumps.

But the main talking points were the way a weak Windies side capitulated against Sidebottom and Panesar, and another worrying performance from Harmison and Plunkett.

The Durham duo looked devoid of confidence as they sent down a succession of wayward deliveries which had keeper Matt Prior diving around, particularly down the leg-side.

The lively Old Trafford surface was tailor-made for Harmison in particular but too often he failed to get the ball in the right areas to exploit the help on offer.

When he did, Daren Ganga was pinned lbw in front and the aggressive Runako Morton was forced to fend a snorter to first slip.

Chris Gayle's attempt to slash Plunkett away, which was snaffled at backward point, was more symptomatic of poor application than any snakes in the pitch.

Steve Harmison again looked devoid of confidence and control
Harmison again looked devoid of confidence and control

And Devon Smith (40) looked comfortable against the seamers and spinner Panesar until he drove the left-armer into his heel and Bell pouched the rebound at silly-point.

That made it 157-4 and England had a window of opportunity they scarcely deserved but Shiv Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo set about some more indifferent bowling to rally their team.

Chanderpaul's majestic cut shot off Panesar and wristy flick off Plunkett showed he was a man in prime form, while Bravo was no slouch at the other end in a stand of 59.

However, when Sidebottom found the edge of Bravo's bat the Windies went into meltdown.

The seamer saw Denesh Ramdin mis-time a pull to square-leg and Chanderpaul drive to cover, while Panesar had Darren Sammy, Jerome Taylor and Corey Collymore snapped up at slip.

There was still time for Fidel Edwards to produce a beautiful inswinger to left-hander Strauss and trap him plumb lbw, and Alastair Cook to escape when he looked to have edged Collymore behind.

Earlier, Harmison showed much more application with the bat, surviving several blows on his body and helmet to play some shots and support Bell, only for both to glove brutish deliveries behind.

Sidebottom and Panesar entertained with a 32-run last-wicket stand but it was with the cherry in hand later on that they really did the damage, and England are now overwhelming favourites for a series-clinching victory.



SEE ALSO
West Indies in England 2007
04 Jun 07 |  Cricket


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