England seeks to finish the series on high
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Player:IR Bell, RJ Sidebottom, RS Bopara
Event:West Indies in England 2009

DateLine: 13th May 2009


It is certain that an acceptable performance in the second and final Test between England and the West Indies will provide the players with an excellent opportunity to cement their places for the high-profile Ashes series against a resurgent Australian team. This is England's last Test before their series opener with Australia in Cardiff on July 8.


England will regain the Wisden Trophy they lost earlier this year in the Caribbean if they avoid defeat at the Riverside. They have added batsman Ian Bell and left-arm quick Ryan Sidebottom to their squad. But they are likely to be unchanged after wrapping up victory inside three days at Lord's against an undercooked West Indies on the back of fine individual displays from some of their least experienced players.


Ravi Bopara, in his first Test at No.3 made 143, off-spinner Graeme Swann won the man-of-the-match award for his maiden Test fifty and six wickets while Collingwood's Durham colleague Graham Onions took seven wickets on his debut with some well-directed fast bowling.


One reason why England won so quickly at Lord's was that Swann, who turns the ball away from left-handers, removed Shivnarine Chanderpaul for a golden duck and then a second-ball four. Chanderpaul, who up until that match was ranked as the world's number one batsman, was all but impregnable when West Indies last toured England two years ago, batting for nearly seven hours during the corresponding Riverside Test while making an unbeaten century. He may not have been unduly concerned by his own Lord's failure but, with the West Indies having four left-handers in their top six, Chanderpaul admitted Swann was a real threat.


England though would be well advised not to get too far ahead of themselves. Had not West Indies dropped six catches in the final session of the first day to undo some of the good work of fast bowler Fidel Edwards, England's first innings total might have been considerably less than 377.


Teams (from) :


England : Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Graham Onions, Ian Bell, Ryan Sidebottom.


West Indies : Chris Gayle (capt), Devon Smith, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brendan Nash, Denesh Ramdin (wkt), Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Fidel Edwards, Lionel Baker.


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