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England set for final-day charge

Fifth Test, Trinidad (day four, close):
England 546-6 & 80-3 v West Indies 544
Match scorecard

By Jamie Lillywhite

Kevin Pietersen
England hopes rest on Pietersen's ability to score significant runs quickly

England retained hopes of squaring the series after closing day four of the final Test with a lead of 82 at 80-3.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brendan Nash extended their stand to 234 as West Indies frustrated England early on.

Nash scored a maiden Test century and Chanderpaul, having been given out on 92 only to stay in after a referral, was unbeaten on 147 in a total of 544.

England lost two wickets in the first six overs but their bid rests with Kevin Pietersen who made a positive 34.

The match had been meandering until England finally wrapped up the West Indies innings and set about creating a target which would give them hope of forcing an unlikely victory on the final day.

Referrals yet again provided a major talking point, with several in the brief England second innings.

Two wickets fell in the first six overs, captain Andrew Strauss tamely caught and bowled having earlier survived a clear edge despite a referral, and Owais Shah edging a wide one that was given out.

Alastair Cook was adjudged caught behind, despite a referral, while Paul Collingwood might have fallen first ball, but was cleared of an lbw which saw the Windies use up their two rights of appeal.

Ever purposeful, Pietersen appeared to relish the situation from the moment he bounded out to the wicket.

One wild swipe, having stepped down the wicket, skewed between the fielders, but one mammoth sweep for six will leave England followers dreaming of something remarkable on Tuesday.

The final ball of the day, however, a Fidel Edwards bouncer at 92mph that nearly clattered into his helmet, plus England's urgent need for runs, would suggest that all manner of results are still possible.

However, with the hosts leading 1-0 and on the verge of a first Test series win in five years, a draw looks the most likely result.

Chanderpaul's 21st Test hundred, achieved despite a niggling groin injury, was the third of the innings and brought his team's number of centuries in the series level with England at eight apiece.

England's endeavour could not be denied, but the extra ingredients of luck and a little bit of magic evaded them.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Chanderpaul's patient innings delayed England's push for victory

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior had another difficult day, there was not quite the level of leaping around in both directions as on Sunday, but the total of byes steadily grew to 35, only two short of the Test record held by Frank Woolley, who was only a part-time wicketkeeper.

However, in Monty Panesar's second over an inside edge from Chanderpaul bounced in and out of Prior's gloves.

Stuart Broad typified the effort of the bowlers and gave every ounce of energy to get the ball to rise from the placid surface over the batsman's head, only for umpire Daryl Harper to call it a wide.

A fair degree of consternation ensued and skipper Andrew Strauss was asked by umpire Harper to talk to his irate paceman.

The morale-sapping partnership was finally broken in the second over after lunch when Nash fished outside the off-stump at Broad and Paul Collingwood took a smart catch at a wide second slip.

Ten balls later England thought they had removed the other thorn in their side when Harper gave Chanderpaul out caught behind as Graeme Swann pitched one in the perfect area.

But Chanderpaul referred the decision and after a lengthy delay, television official Aleem Dar saw something that perhaps the majority did not and advised that the decision should be overturned.

Swann, with nice flight and turn had an excellent appeal for lbw against Ryan Hinds rejected, and quickly saw his anxiety increase when the tall left-hander adopted a more positive approach and thumped one over long-on into the upper tier.

He deservedly got his man when he lured Hinds out of his crease and Prior executed a neat stumping.

James Anderson produced a superb spell, finding reverse swing in both directions, and trapped Denesh Ramdin lbw on the stroke of tea.

606: DEBATE
Kash79

That signalled the return of Chris Gayle after injury, and Anderson would hardly have relished the most difficult of chances offered by the West Indies captain which went above the level of the stands over his head.

Frustration grew for Anderson when Collingwood, having moved in closer at slip to allow for the lack of carry, could not react quickly enough to what in effect was a late cut off the middle of the bat by Chanderpaul.

Last man Lionel Baker, after padding up to a straight ball, remembered one referral was still unused and thought he might yet have the chance for his first Test run, but the appeal was unsuccessful.

England were left with 18 overs in which to begin their pursuit of quick runs and were surprised to see Gayle not only leading his team out but coming on to bowl after four overs.

The Windies captain removed his opposite number and could also have taken the Wisden Trophy from him by Tuesday afternoon.



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
09 Mar 09 |  England
Swann sets sights on England win
09 Mar 09 |  England
Panesar fined for over-appealing
10 Mar 09 |  England
Flintoff to rejoin England squad
10 Mar 09 |  England
Broad condemns Caribbean pitches
08 Mar 09 |  England
Strauss gives England fine start
06 Mar 09 |  England
England in West Indies 2009
29 Dec 08 |  England


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