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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 June 2007, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Cook hundred keeps England on top
Third Test, Old Trafford, day three (close): England 370 & 313 v West Indies 229 & 22-1

By Oliver Brett

Darren Sammy
Sammy enjoyed a day to remember on his Test debut

West Indies reached stumps on day three at Old Trafford on 22-1, needing an unlikely 455 to win the third Test.

The day was dominated by Alastair Cook's sixth Test century and a remarkable 7-66 from Darren Sammy.

Sammy took out the middle order with three wickets in five balls and wrapped up the tail with three more in seven.

England were bowled out for 313, Cook making 106, and Steve Harmison had time to remove Windies captain Daren Ganga in his first over for a duck.

Sammy's figures were the best in a Test innings by a West Indian debutant since Alf Valentine took eight on the same ground in 1950.

His medium-fast bowling was not spiteful.

But unlike so many other bowlers here the first Test player from St Lucia bowled a consistent length and line to reap maximum rewards.

Cook joined an exclusive club of players to reach six Test centuries before their 23rd birthday.

Don Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar, Neil Harvey, Javed Miandad, George Headley and Garry Sobers are the only other players to have achieved the feat, making the Essex left-hander the first Englishman to do so.

He had one let-off when on 42, Corey Collymore failing to lay a finger on a not-too-difficult diving chance at fine leg off Fidel Edwards.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook produced yet another significant score

Perhaps chastened, the Essex left-hander played with caution between lunch and tea, as he moved from 48 to 89 with just three boundaries.

After tea, however, he quickly moved to 96 with a drive off Shivnarine Chanderpaul for four, and reached his century with an assured pull shot off Sammy that also went to the fence.

He was ultimately a little unlucky to be given out lbw by umpire Asad Rauf off Chris Gayle.

But by the same token he had been lucky to survive an appeal on Friday night having made just 12.

The day began with England 34-1, already leading by 175.

Michael Vaughan played two delightful early boundaries off Fidel Edwards, who was soon replaced by Sammy.

The all-rounder was not at his best early on, however, allowing Cook to pull him, then leg-glance him for two fours.

Vaughan hit his third boundary of the morning with a beautiful on-drive off Collymore and it was a surprise when he lost his wicket.

606: DEBATE
CR

Having made 41 in the first innings, the England captain found his innings cut short once again just as he threatened a major contribution.

On 40, he moved back in his crease to play a back-foot drive, but Sammy stuck out his right hand and the ball lodged safely within it.

The period either side of lunch featured some woeful fielding from the tourists.

Having made 32, Kevin Pietersen was dropped by Gayle at slip as he went to cut Chanderpaul.

It was a tough chance but on 51 the Hampshire batsman really should have headed back to the pavilion when another catch went begging.

This time, Runako Morton timed his dive at mid-wicket badly with Gayle the bowler.

Pietersen (68) had played some sweet shots on a ground where he had struggled in the past before losing his wicket in unusual circumstances to end a stand of 122 with Cook.

Jerome Taylor
there was much head-scratching from the West Indies camp

The Hampshire man was dismissed hit wicket after a Dwayne Bravo bouncer struck his helmet. The strap broke and the helmet was propelled onto a shaken Pietersen's stumps.

Cook and Paul Collingwood added 44 to bring the score to 265 before England suffered an improbable collapse.

Cook was ousted by Gayle, before Sammy produced an amazing over featuring three wickets.

Ian Bell and Matt Prior edged leg-cutters behind, and Liam Plunkett narrowly survived the hat-trick ball only to give Bravo a catch at third slip from an inside edge that ballooned off his thigh.

After another flurry of runs from Collingwood (42) and Harmison (16), Sammy wrapped up the innings in quick time - and celebrated each wicket in style.

That left West Indies needing to bat out eight overs, plus two days, to save or win the match.

But Ganga, the skipper, was lbw to Harmison in the second over - a dismissal that replicated his downfall on Friday.



SEE ALSO
Cook 'can get 40 Test centuries'
09 Jun 07 |  England
West Indies in England 2007
04 Jun 07 |  Cricket


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