Sunday, May 17, 2009

West Indies vs England 2nd Test Day 3 :Anderson puts England on top

James Anderson took three wickets after Alastair Cook had made a Test-best 160 as England closed in on a series win over the West Indies at the Riverside here on Saturday.

The West Indies, at stumps on the third day of the second and final Test, were 94 for three in reply to England's first innings 569 for six declared.

That left them 475 runs behind and still needing a further 276 to avoid the follow-on.Anderson, aged 26 but now the senior bowler in England's attack, ended the day with figures of three wickets for 36 runs in 11 overs, his wickets coming in a burst of three for 21 in 36 balls.

Either side of an initial bad light break the Lancashire paceman, appearing in his 37th Test, bowled Devon Smith and then removed another left-handed opener in Chris Gayle for 19 as West Indies slumped to 38 for two.

West Indies captain Gayle appeared unfortunate to be given out two balls after the resumption by Sri Lankan umpire Asoka de Silva with replays suggesting the ball would have gone high and wide of the stumps. But he did help make the umpire's mind up by not playing a shot.

Anderson then had Lendl Simmons caught in the slips by England captain Andrew Strauss.

Ramnaresh Sarwan, hit on the side of his helmet by a Graham Onions bouncer, was 41 not out and Shivnarine Chanderpaul three not out at stumps.

Anderson's haul capped a fine day after he'd started Saturday by gamely defying everything fast bowler Fidel Edwards sent at him, including a few verbal volleys, for nearly an hour in a gutsy display as night-watchman.

After Friday's total washout, England resumed on 302 for two, with Cook 126 not out and Anderson unbeaten on four.

They continued to pile on the runs thanks to fifties from Matt Prior (63) and Paul Collingwood, 60 not out on his Durham home ground when Strauss declared at tea.

Kevin Pietersen had earlier made a brisk 49 before giving his wicket away in front of a much-improved crowd after the first day had been poorly attended and the second washed out.

England at stumps were all but assured of at least a draw.

That was the minimum they needed to regain the Wisden Trophy they'd lost in the Caribbean earlier this year following a 10-wicket win inside three days at Lord's last week.

Cook and fellow Essex 24-year-old Ravi Bopara (108), whose century was his third in as many Test innings, put on 213 for the second wicket to give England a solid base after Strauss had won a good toss on Thursday.

This was Cook's ninth century in his 43rd Test but significantly it was the first time he'd gone past 150 as he followed up Essex mentor Graham Gooch's advice to make a "big" hundred, the left-handed opener overcoming a shaky start to bat for more than eight hours.

Tall left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn was the pick of the West Indies' attack on a day when their fast bowlers struggled to maintain accuracy.

He took two wickets, dismissing Cook and Pietersen, on his way to figures of two for 146 in 43 overs. Benn ended Cook's innings when the batsman got a leading edge that saw the ball lob Gayle at extra-cover.

Pietersen, bowled for nought by Edwards at Lord's, was in superb touch before lunch.

But he'd added just three runs to his interval 46 when, having been tied down by Benn, he tried to slog against the spin and edged a simple catch to Simmons at backward point.

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