|Scorecard:||England v West Indies|
|Event:||West Indies in England 2012|
DateLine: 10th June 2012
Samuels and Ramdin boost West Indies total
In association with Investec
Birmingham – A game deprived of two full days play finally got underway and remained uninterrupted to see West Indies progress towards a modest total. It was Marlon Samuels again who played yet another excellent innings in this series and along Denesh Ramdin, who remained unbeaten on 60 – his ninth Test half century – they helped to boost the West Indies score to 280 for eight at stumps. Their stand of 56, from 99 balls, was the highest for the innings and much depends on Ramdin if the tourists are to extend their total substantially.
England decided to bowl first but managed to get just one wicket in the first session despite the overcast conditions.. By lunch the tourists had progressed well on 85 for the loss of Kieran Powell’s wicket which Tim Bresnan snapped up with the help of a catch at second slip.. The ball had moved away a little from the batsman who edged it from a forward prod. After the break England claimed two wickets in a space of half an hour on scores of 90 and 99.
The wickets went to Graham Onions and Steve Finn, both playing for the first time in the series in place of the first choice opening bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad who have been rested. Onions accounted for Adrian Barath who was given out lbw after he had asked for a review of the decision. Barath had looked well set in scoring 41 with some fine strokes, the best was the cover drive for four with which he opened his account. Six overs later Finn took a return catch, in his follow-through, from Darren Bravo’s very casual looking push.
While England had two changes in their team from the last Test which they won by nine wickets, the tourists had made as many as four. Left-handed batsmen Assad Fudadin and Narsingh Deonarine were brought in for the injured Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kirk Edwards. The other two changes were Tino Best included for the injured Kemar Roach who went back home and Shane Shillingford’s place was taken by fellow-spinner Sunil Narine making his Test debut along with Fudadin.
To make up some of the time lost the second session of play was extended by half an hour and the tourists lost two more wickets before tea. Fudadin failed to play a short, rising ball from Bresnan, nor could he get out of the way as it flew off the gloves for a simple catch to third slip. That was 128 for four and ten overs later Onions struck for his second wicket angling a ball across the left-handed Deonarine who edged it into the hands of first slip two overs before tea.
Samuels, having come in at the fall of the third wicket played attractive strokes as he has done throughout the series. He went down the pitch to lift Graeme Swann for six over long on and brought up his fifteenth Test half century from 76 balls with the next delivery which he drove to cover for his sixth four taking the tourists to 164 for five at the end of the second session. After the break Samuels, looking very comfortable against the bowling played a beautiful cover drive to the boundary taking his score to 64 shortly after the West Indies 200 had come up on the scoreboard.
Just before the second new ball was due, Samuels on 76 from 114 balls, was dismissed with Bresnan back in the attack and claiming his third wicket as he trapped Samuels lbw. The batsman’s review was unsuccessful as he was pinned right in front of the stumps. That was a big blow struck by England as Samuels has been in excellent form having scored 31 and 86 in the first Investec Test and 117 and 76 not out in the second.
The second new ball soon brought a wicket with Darren Sammy failing to get behind a ball from Finn and edging his push to slip to give the lanky fast bowler his second wicket. It reduced the tourists to 241 for seven. With Onions claiming his third wicket when he bowled Narine for 11 it was 267 for eight and Ramdin was on 49 at that stage. It was a good day for the England bowlers with Onions and Bresnan finishing with three wickets each for 56 and 74 respectively.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2012 Andy Jalil)