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Page last updated at 22:48 GMT, Sunday, 8 March 2009

Broad condemns Caribbean pitches

Stuart Broad
Broad and the England bowlers have toiled for 109 overs for four wickets

England's Stuart Broad said the pitches in the Caribbean made results difficult as West Indies closed on 349-4.

"The wickets have been overly flat, it's not been a fair battle between bat and ball and it doesn't make for exciting cricket," Broad lamented.

"A few of their batsmen were a bit lucky with lbw decisions and it didn't go our way, but if we keep bowling the way we have it's only a matter of time.

"If we bowl them out and get a healthy lead we're still in this series."

England used up their two referrals on Saturday, so were denied the chance for a strong appeal for lbw by Monty Panesar against Brendan Nash on 24 to be looked at again.

"It's certainly one we would have referred and we were pretty stunned it wasn't given out," Broad said of umpire Russell Tiffin's not out decision.

"Hopefully the ball will reverse a bit more and six wickets before lunch will certainly be what we're aiming for.

"I'm not sure we'd have enforced the follow-on anyway, it's going to be a difficult wicket to bat on by the fifth day.

"Hopefully the cracks will start opening up and create a bit of variable bounce. Our first job is to try and bowl them out but it's not going to be easy on a pitch that is still very good for batting."

Meanwhile, West Indies captain Chris Gayle denied his side have been playing for a draw in Trinidad.

Gayle, who retired hurt on the third day after making a century, said: "We definitely want to win the game. If you look at the position, we can win it.

"There is a lot of time left and if we bat until tea on Monday and get a big lead, England will be under pressure."

Gayle added he hopes to return to the game despite injuring a muscle, saying: "I will bat again once it is required.

"My body is feeling good apart from the leg and I will have an MRI scan on Monday but it is not too bad from what I am feeling now.

"The injury was just one of those things. On 99 you tend to put in the extra effort for that single. Hopefully I will get well soon and get back in that game."

Gayle was full of praise for the job done by Brendan Nash and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who have shared an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 146.

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Their efforts allowed West Indies to avoid the follow-on and reach the close just 197 behind England.

"They have done a terrific job and hopefully they can continue on Monday.

"The gameplan was to take it session by session and see what happened. Sarwan didn't get any runs so I wanted to do that but unfortunately tore a muscle.

"Chanderpaul and Nash are doing a brilliant job and I hope they can continue in the same vein."

Going back to England's first innings, Gayle added: "We did not bowl negatively. Occasionally Ryan Hinds bowled down to the leg side to the right-handers but I thought Strauss and Collingwood batted really slowly."



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
08 Mar 09 |  England


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