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Centurions give England advantage

Fifth Test, Trinidad (day two, close):
England 546-6 v West Indies 92-1

By David Ornstein

Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior
Collingwood and Prior punished West Indies for their defensive approach

Paul Collingwood and Matt Prior notched centuries as England posted an imposing first innings total on day two of the fifth Test against West Indies.

Collingwood (161) and Prior (131no) put on 218, a record fifth-wicket stand for England against West Indies.

The tourists, who resumed on 258-2 and lost Andrew Strauss (142) and Owais Shah (33), posted 546-6 declared.

Monty Panesar then bowled Devon Smith for 28 to reduce West Indies to 92-1 at the close, a 454-run deficit.

Captain Chris Gayle (49no) will hope his side can occupy the crease for some time as they bid to earn at least a draw, which would see them take the five-match series 1-0.

England, on the other hand, must go in search of early wickets on day three to maintain their hopes of winning and so drawing in the series.

They will have to overcome a frustratingly slow pitch that is so far showing few signs of breaking up and a West Indies side who employed defensive, time-consuming tactics in the field for a second successive day.

In addition, England used up the two TV referrals available to them as third umpire Aleem Dar correctly rejected lbw shouts against both Gayle and Smith.

West Indies actually started the day positively, taking the new ball before the start of play and emerging from the pavilion with a spring in their step.

606: DEBATE
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Skipper Gayle set an aggressive field and, with Fidel Edwards immediately finding a dangerous line and length, overnight pair Strauss and Collingwood were denied the chance to settle into any sort of rhythm.

Edwards had toiled with barely a hint of a breakthrough on day one but now looked an altogether different proposition and, with the fifth ball of his second over, bowled Strauss around his legs.

That paved the way for Shah to return after retiring with finger cramps the previous afternoon, and he began in determined fashion with a beautiful straight drive off Lionel Baker for four.

But the very next ball he attempted a risky single to midwicket that enabled substitute fielder Dwayne Bravo to pick up and connect with a direct hit that left the right-hander well short of his ground.

It was vital for the tourists that Collingwood and Prior restored some calm to proceedings and, having initially struggled for fluency, they soon obliged.

Prior dispatched Edwards for three classy fours in one fruitful over and continued to trade mostly in boundaries en route to his half-century, while Collingwood passed three figures for the second time in the series and the fourth in his last 12 innings.

Gayle had let England seize the initiative and he did little to redress the balance.

The profligate Daren Powell and slow left-armers Brendan Nash and Ryan Hinds were entrusted with the last 14 overs before lunch, which England would have been delighted to reach on 372-4.

To their credit, the all-spin combination of Gayle and Hinds entered into a disciplined spell after the re-start and the run rate began to slow.

Prior was fortunate to survive when, on 75, he edged Hinds to slip where Shivnarine Chanderpaul, struggling with a groin strain, put down a straightforward catch.

He responded by batting with greater watchfulness and it paid off as he worked Hinds through the off side to bring up a second Test hundred.

Collingwood and Prior looked set to ease England through to tea but Baker continued to plug away admirably and came up with the wicket of Collingwood.

Amjad Khan
Khan experienced a nervous start to his Test career

The Durham all-rounder was trapped on the back leg and although umpire Russell Tiffin rejected West Indies' appeal, the decision was put to a TV referral and overturned by third umpire Aleem Dar.

Dar was again called upon at the start of the evening session when Tiffin gave Prior out lbw off Baker, only for the call to be correctly reversed because the ball struck the batsman outside off stump.

Prior and Broad went in search of quick runs and led their side past the 500 mark before Broad hoisted Baker to Simmons at long-off and, 2.5 overs later, England declared.

West Indies began their response positively but faced an anxious wait as James Anderson called for a referral after striking Smith with a ball that pitched outside leg stump. Dar correctly upheld Daryl Harper's decision.

A nervous Amjad Khan sent down three no balls in his first over of Test cricket, and five overall, in returning figures of 4-0-27-0, but also induced an outside edge off Gayle that fell just short of Strauss at first slip.

Graeme Swann was unsuccessful with a second referral after trapping Gayle with a ball that was heading down leg, but the day ended on a bright note for England when Panesar beat Smith's outside edge and knocked back his off stump.

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see also
Collingwood targets Trinidad win
07 Mar 09 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
07 Mar 09 |  England
West Indies v England photos
07 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Pietersen plans IPL safety talks
07 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Strauss gives England fine start
06 Mar 09 |  England
England in West Indies 2009
29 Dec 08 |  England


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