England A heaps humiliation on West Indies
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 4th May 2009
The West Indians suffered another humbling batting collapse against England Lions as they crashed to 179 in their second innings, leaving the Lions a target of just 72 which was knocked off in double quick time. Liam Plunkett cleaned up the tail with four wickets after Adil Rashid continued a fine all-round day with three scalps to follow his 70. Tim Ambrose was the other star with an attacking 117 to build a lead of 108 and the Lions never loosened their grip.
Robert Key and Stephen Moore needed only 9.5 overs to race to the target, after claiming the extra half an hour, to leave the West Indians with plenty to ponder. With just four days to go before the first Test and there captain, Chris Gayle, receiving permission to stay at the IPL for an extra two days there are some serious problems for the tourists to confront. The form of their top order is a major concern and although Gayle will return in time for the first Test he will be under immense pressure to perform.
Only Lendl Simmons and Shivnarine Chanderpaul can hold their heads high as England's second-string did the full side a few favours ahead of the Lord's Test. Sajid Mahmood began the demise when Devon Smith dragged on to continue his miserable tour, then Chris Woakes continued his impressive match with two more wickets in a six-over opening burst to reduce the West Indians to 29 for 3. He had Ramnaresh Sarwan caught down the leg side and then shifted Denesh Ramdin, leading the side in place of Gayle, with one that bounced and went to third slip.
Rashid trapped Simmons lbw for 63 to end a stand of 87 for the fourth wicket before adding the major prize of Chanderpaul, who failed to pick a googly. The rest of the order offered nothing as Plunkett sped through the tail and the last six wickets went down for a paltry 25.
The end came so swiftly that it was easy to forget that the Lions began the day still 60 behind, but Ambrose's positive strokeplay and Rashid's accumulation soon levelled the scores and began building a match-winning advantage. After being overlooked for all England's recent squads, Ambrose responded with a forceful innings as the West Indian bowlers struggled to stem the scoring rate.
Rashid was given a life on 19 when Chanderpaul dropped him at slip and the seventh-wicket pair added 152 before Ambrose fell in the final over before lunch when he got a leading edge off Simmons. Nelon Pascal, the uncapped pace bowler, quickly mopped up the last three wickets, but apart from the early form of fellow quick Jerome Taylor there wasn't much the West Indians were able to take from this match.