Ambrose is ready to rock

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The Independent Online
West Indies 366 & 260-0 dec Essex 300-4 dec & 202-6 Match drawn

Curtly Ambrose is fit and ready to face England at The Oval. Although he bowled just 11 overs at Chelmsford, all during Essex's first innings, and spent most of yesterday fielding at slip, the West Indies' physiotherapist, Dennis Waight, said: "Curtly is fine and there are no problems about him playing on Thursday. Having bowled on Sunday I advised him to take it easy today."

With Stuart Williams also recovering from a sore back and Carl Hooper's broken finger now fully mended, only Jimmy Adams is out of contention for the series decider.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul did his prospects of playing at The Oval no harm by scoring an undefeated 103 yesterday. His third first-class century of the summer included 19 fours and, with Phil Simmons adding 139 not out ,West Indies were 260 for 0 when they declared at lunch.

Simmons, only added to the squad last week and not in contention for a place in the Test team, enjoyed himself at Chelmsford, with his two innings yielding 33 fours and four sixes.

Essex briefly threatened to challenge a victory target of 327 off 61 overs, but any hope of an exciting finish disappeared when Graham Gooch clipped Rajindra Dhanraj to mid-wicket after making 50.

The 12 Tetley Challenge matches have produced four West Indian victories, one defeat, seven draws - and a lot of meaningless cricket. However, the "marvellous moment" of the series award, worth pounds 500, went to Essex, for attracting 18,000 spectators over the three days.

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