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West Indies v England 5th Test



Fifth Test, Trinidad (day five, close):
England 546-6 & 237-6 drew with West Indies 544 & 114-8
Match scorecard

By Jamie Lillywhite

Chris Gayle holds aloft the Wisden Trophy
Chris Gayle led his side to a first major Test series win in five years

England fell agonisingly short of victory as West Indies held on to draw the final Test and win the series 1-0.

The Windies were set 240 from a minimum 66 overs and after losing three wickets in the first 19, never chased it.

Graeme Swann took 3-13 and when the eighth wicket fell there were still 20 balls remaining, but Denesh Ramdin (17) held out as they closed on 114-8.

Earlier Kevin Pietersen's 16th Test ton and a fluent 61 from Matt Prior saw England add 155 and declare at lunch.

It is the first time the Windies have held the Wisden Trophy for nine years, and their first major series success for five years.

But England will feel they should have won 2-1, having taken nine wickets in Antigua and come within just two strikes of victory here.

They gave themselves two sessions to bowl out the home side and packed men around the bat in a frantic effort to force the win.

Seamer James Anderson was outstanding with his reverse swing to claim 3-24 but, with the crowd on the edge of their seats, England ran out of overs.

Skipper Andrew Strauss will no doubt come under fire again for not declaring early enough, and the 1-0 series defeat drops England to sixth in the rankings.

But things looked as though they would be different when Paul Collingwood took a stunning low catch in the seventh over to dismiss makeshift opener Lendl Simmons, and tension began to mount in a home dressing room desperate to experience the winning feeling again.

Swann saw off Devon Smith after the opener played a wild swipe and was pinned leg before after a referral as England's hopes grew.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, the man who began the day with 612 runs from six innings, played his usual stylish range of strokes despite the situation, and successive driven boundaries off Monty Panesar brought up the West Indies 50.

Monty Panesar
Panesar took two wickets to give England hope of a stunning victory

But Collingwood took another superb low slip catch to dismiss him, and almost made it a hat-trick of catches when Shivnarine Chanderpaul edged his first ball centimetres short of him.

The first-innings centurion scratched around for 51 balls for his six runs either side of tea before the enterprising Swann pinned him lbw on the crease with a quicker delivery.

Anderson was introduced after tea and responded with a superb spell, expertly varying and disguising the direction of swing.

He shaped some away from the adhesive left-hander Brendan Nash, before bringing one back to claim an lbw, and with almost 28 overs to claim the final five wickets England were buoyant.

Even ice-cool captain Chris Gayle looked a little anxious in the stands, and he was forced into the fray at number eight when umpire Daryl Harper decided a ball from Panesar had brushed the bat before it looped to slip, and an aghast Ryan Hinds had no referral with which to plead his case.

Gayle was clearly handicapped by his hamstring injury but stretched painfully forward to pad Panesar away, prompting a ferocious appeal from the spinner and an unsuccessful referral, meaning none were available for the final 16 overs.

606: DEBATE
The Devil's Advocate

Panesar, appealing with almost deranged intensity, finally persuaded umpire Russell Tiffin to grant one in his favour as Gayle was hit low on the pad in front of the timbers.

With eight outfielders surrounding the bat close to the wicket, Panesar began to see several deliveries shooting along the deck, but it was the return of Anderson that brought another late twist.

A superb inswinging yorker shot through Daren Powell but there was to be no fairytale finish for the tourists.

The day began as planned for England, with some attacking strokeplay, although many felt they should have declared earlier and tempted the Windies to be more adventurous with less of a target.

Pietersen's innings contained many shots from his vast array of inventiveness.

Kevin Pietersen
Pietersen's inventive century gave England a faint chance of victory

There was a switch-hit over the fielders for four, and he brought up his half century with an extraordinary shot reminiscent of French Cricket when he paddled past the keeper with his feet together.

But even Pietersen was outscored by Prior, who used his feet superbly and timed the ball sweetly, scoring 32 of a 50 partnership reached in just 39 balls.

The West Indies tactics were a little difficult to fathom, however, given the fact that with England pushing for quick runs, they could have bowled them out.

Occasional slow medium pacers Simmons and Nash were preferred to strike bowler Powell, and fielders were spread as if in the middle overs of a one-day international.

When Prior's brilliant innings came to an end the lead was 209, Pietersen was on 86 and there were 20 minutes until lunch.

Around this period, 12th man Steve Harmison was busy conveying constant messages from the dressing room to the middle under the pretence of delivering new gloves.

Whether the thinking was genuinely about Pietersen's century or not, those 20 minutes would surely have been more use to England than the 30 runs scored in that time.

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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
10 Mar 09 |  England
Strauss defends declaration time
10 Mar 09 |  England
West Indies v England photos
11 Mar 09 |  Cricket
England set for final-day charge
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
10 Mar 09 |  England


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