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West Indies duo frustrate England

Fifth Test, Trinidad (day three, close):
England 546-6 v West Indies 349-4
Match scorecard

By Jamie Lillywhite

Brendan Nash and Shivnarine Chanderpaul
The left-handers saved their side from the threat of the follow-on

A gritty unbroken stand of 146 between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brendan Nash took West Indies to 349-4, 197 behind after three days of the final Test.

Resuming 454 adrift at 92-1, they lost run machine Ramnaresh Sarwan (14) who was debutant Amjad Khan's maiden scalp.

Chris Gayle reached his 10th Test ton with a quick single but in doing so injured his hamstring and retired hurt.

The left-handers batted for 52 overs to avoid the follow-on and further dent England hopes of saving the series.

When the fourth West Indies wicket went down, which was perhaps effectively the fifth given Gayle's serious-looking injury, 144 runs were needed to save the follow-on.

Nash had his moments of fortune, and was dropped on 19, but recorded his fourth Test fifty and his partnership with Chanderpaul, who now has 53 half centuries, blunted England's day which began well with two wickets in the opening hour.

Daren Powell, the nightwatchman who defied them for more than two hours in the third Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground, lasted only 14 balls for his duck.

He could only fend a simple catch to gully after a hostile lifting ball from the impressive Stuart Broad, who intelligently varied his pace and grip throughout.

Sarwan, who began the innings with a series average of 149, having made two centuries and a 291, was dropped off Monty Panesar on 12.

Panesar's day began with the unusual occurrence of being asked to field in the key cover area, which was followed by the even more unusual occurrence of a stunning diving save there to prevent a boundary.

His bowling was also much improved, with an excellent line and flight and he should have been rewarded with the prize scalp of Sarwan, who had been worked over expertly, but when the edge came, the usually reliable hands of Paul Collingwood at slip failed to grasp the chance.

Anyone who saw Khan's erratic four overs for 27 late on Saturday would have struggled to believe it would be him to oust Sarwan in the next over but it was, and no-one was more delighted than Collingwood.

Khan's fourth delivery was full and fast, Sarwan's high backlift could not get down on the ball in time and he was trapped lbw in front of middle stump.

Chris Gayle
Gayle's innings came to a halt in unusual circumstances

The Kent seamer's unorthodox action appeared occasionally difficult for the batsmen to fathom, particularly when the ball was never put in the same place twice, with Gayle particularly surprised by a bouncer and a slower ball.

That apart Gayle, having resumed on 49, coasted in leisurely fashion to 99, but his exit was a bizarre blur.

Owais Shah misfielded in the covers and, sensing the chance of the all-important single, Gayle set off.

The throw might well have seen him short of his ground but missed the target, but once Gayle reached the opposite crease to confirm his century, his exertions left him in a crumpled heap with a damaged hamstring.

After a lengthy period of treatment he was helped off with exactly 100 to his name.

Debutant Lendl Simmons took 24 balls to get off the mark but looked in good fettle until trapped in front by Panesar.

It was Khan who was entrusted with the new ball but his radar malfunctioned spectacularly once again, and he erred on both sides of the wicket.

A wild short-pitched delivery gave Nash the opportunity to cut and he took full advantage, recording his fourth Test fifty and the West Indies 300 with a boundary over the slips.

606: DEBATE
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With Khan wayward and Panesar sending the occasional arm ball at great pace often wide of the target, wicketkeeper Matt Prior could have recorded his own exercise video given the amount of diving around required.

The rather more reliable pace bowling of Broad was swiftly introduced and he induced an edge from Nash, but it fell inches short of Andrew Strauss at slip and the record of no catches being held in the slips in the match continued.

Captain Strauss put himself under the helmet at silly point but must have wished for a more expert fielder in the position when he spilled a sharp reflex chance low to him by Nash on 19.

In the penultimate over before tea Panesar's quicker ball looked to have pinned the Australian-born all-rounder in front of the stumps but umpire Russell Tiffin said not out, and that proved to be the last main hope of an England wicket.

Rather ironically, the follow-on was avoided with four byes, taking the innings total to 30 on a difficult day for Prior.

Once again England will be left with the difficult decision of when to declare when they bat again - but first they have to dislodge the left-handed limpets.

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see also
Broad condemns Caribbean pitches
08 Mar 09 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
08 Mar 09 |  England
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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