Cricket: Headley follows Fraser's lead to contain W Indies

West Indies 159 & 200-9 England 145

IN A Test match that refuses to yield its secrets easily, it was the turn of the quiet and unassuming to have their say. The stage may have been set for Brian Lara, but it was the efforts of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jimmy Adams and Dean Headley that have so far kept this match on a knife- edge, albeit one now beginning to tilt the West Indies' way.

In circumstances that did not encourage traditional West Indian strokeplay, Chanderpaul and Adams helped to frustrate England's impressive fightback, which, led by Angus Fraser in the morning, was given fresh impetus by Headley when he took 3 for1 in seven balls in the afternoon.

It is rare thing to find a Test where almost every session has threatened to be the decisive one, and if anything this one has been even more draining for the players than its predecessor, despite the slightly less humid weather.

When play began, the West Indies' game plan was to try and take the game away from England by lunch. To do that Brian Lara needed to treble his overnight score of 30. On the other hand, an early dismissal would give England the important early impetus necessary to bowl the home side out for another low score.

Beginning shakily against his nemesis Angus Fraser, Lara looked a shadow of the batsman he was four years ago, when he plundered what is virtually the same attack to all parts of the Caribbean. But if Fraser worried him with his niggling line, he still managed to cut loose against Dean Headley and he peppered the off-side boundary boards with a series of savage cuts.

When 11 runs had been added to the overnight score, Fraser struck, a well-directed bouncer taking the nightwatchman Kenny Benjamin by surprise as he top-edged the ball to a circling Jack Russell.

With Lara still at the crease, and looking more fluent by the over, England's joy at the early breakthrough was tempered until Fraser nipped one back at the left-hander to trap him lbw for 47. It was the fourth time in as many innings that the Middlesex seamer had snared the West Indies captain, an accolade that has earned him praise locally. There is now a saying in these parts that Angus Fraser is as consistent as Angostura.

The dismissal brought opposite reactions, and, although it was greeted by a whoop of joy from the England players, the silence from the Dos Santos and Carib Beer stands betrayed the fact that it was not the home town decision the local supporters had perhaps expected. There is little doubt that over the years Lara will have been given the benefit of the doubt on plumber lbw's than this one, which looked if anything a little high, the ball hitting him well above the roll on his back pad. However, Darryll Hair, the neutral umpire here, is the tallest on the circuit, and from his perspective the ball must have looked like it would have hit the top of the stumps.

For Lara, this ground is proving a tough nut to crack as far as big scores go. Although it is home and he has the mansion on the hill, as well as a main street (Brian Lara Promenade) named after him, he still has not got the century he and his acolytes crave.

Significantly, Lara's demise was the only time the Barmy Army managed to outsing the Trini Possee, a bacchanalian gathering of musicians, revellers and stunning local women, whose presence is amplified by a thunderous sound system playing all the latest Soca tunes. Briefly silenced again, when Headley, who bowled far better yesterday, skidded one into Carl Hooper's pads to have the West Indies vice-captain lbw, the Possee were ominously upbeat as Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Jimmy Adams began putting together what may yet prove to be the decisive stand of the match.

Benefitting from the absence of Fraser, who had little left to give even when he did return after lunch, the pair added 56 runs in 24 overs before Chanderpaul wafted at Headley, returning from the Northern End after his marathon two-hour spell in the morning. It was a timely innings by Chanderpaul, who mixed sturdy defence with some blistering shots, mainly through the off-side. Only the young Guyanese batsman's downfall will have disappointed him, although it did take a superb one-handed catch by Russell, diving to his left, to snaffle the edge.

In hot breezy conditions, Headley's stamina was stupendous and he fully deserved the wickets that followed. Getting the ball to reverse swing, the Kent paceman found himself on a hat-trick after David Williams was lbw for a inauspicious pair and Ambrose was bowled by a beauty first ball.

By this time Atherton, having overbowled Fraser and Headley, was rotating his bowlers more frequently than Chelsea do their strikers. With Caddick blowing hot and cold and runs as precious as Headley's diamond ear stud, it was not an ideal tactic, and one Adams and Nixon McLean took advantage of.

In a curiously low scoring game, culprits stand out like the ears of a certain fast bowler. By tea, only two boundaries had been scored off Angus Fraser, a tally in sharp contrast to Caddick's. He gave that many away in his first over after lunch. However, with Fraser completely spent, and the West Indies lead creeping above 200, Caddick returned after tea to remove McLean, well caught by Alec Stewart at second slip.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk