Headley junior claimed three wickets in two fast-looking spells and, just as importantly, gave the West Indies Test batsman Jimmy Adams a severe going-over for three overs as England took firm control of a highly satisfactory tour opener against Jamaica in Jarrett Park.
Eventually it was the more gentle efforts of Phil Tufnell which accounted for the left- hander as Jamaica nose-dived to 80 for 7 - and that included a bonus of 31 extras donated by an out of practice bowling attack. Jamaica had struggled to 108 for 8 when bad light brought a premature close, still 178 behind England and 29 runs short of their follow-on target.
Headley, naturally, was keeping his feet anchored to the ground afterwards. "It was a good wicket for me to start off on," he said. "We were all rusty and bowled a few no-balls, but that's understandable. I didn't really hit my rhythm until my third spell, and I'd say we are only going at 80 per cent at the moment. I'm here to play for England, and my performance is secondary to winning. We'll push for the win - we are here to win, not just to practise."
Headley's productive spell (3 for 23) sparked Andrew Caddick into equally impressive action, the Somerset paceman taking three wickets in nine balls for just five runs as Jamaica collapsed. Their destruction was helped significantly by the pitch, on which the ball often kept wickedly low.
Headley, swinging the ball appreciably, found the edge of Richard Samuels' bat in his second over and the catch just about carried to Jack Russell behind the stumps. Samuels failed to open his account and Leon Garrick was also on nought when Russell claimed his second catch, although otherwise the keeper was having a tough time with the ball shooting through so low. Wavell Hinds had got himself reasonably well set when Headley sent his leg stump flying with a delivery which hardly rose at all.
Adams tried to hold the Jamaican effort together but Headley simply would not let him settle, firing the ball with menace across his bows and hitting the captain nasty blows in the box and on the right hand. He followed that up with a huge appeal for a close leg before - again to a delivery which kept low, but although Adams appeared to be anchored right in front, the umpire Cecil Fletcher's finger stayed down.
Adams eventually tried to force Tufnell through the off side but succeeded only in dragging the ball into his stumps. That made it 69 for 4 and England were on the march.
Now it was Caddick's turn. After a fairly innocuous opening spell on a hot afternoon, the man expected to be England's spearhead accounted for Mario Ventura, Laurie Williams and Gareth Breese inside two overs.
Ventura and Breese were bowled and Williams was leg before, but Andre Coley and Brian Murphy held England up for six overs before Caddick struck again. Coley attempted a pull at Caddick but the ball lobbed off his gloves to Russell, at which point Jamaica were 101 for 8, still 185 behind and needing to reach 138 to save the follow-on.
Earlier, Graham Thorpe had fallen 11 runs short of a first century in the Caribbean after 333 minutes of diligence in crafting an impressive, and England hope, significant 89. The other bright spots of England's innings yesterday were Russell's typically defiant 29, which extended his stand with Thorpe to 80, and the way Caddick battled to occupy the crease - as he will have to in the Test series.
l Darren Gough will have a minor operation on his hamstring tomorrow, and only after that will he know whether he will be able to join the tour.
England won toss
England - First Innings
*M A Atherton c Murphy b Powell 28
A J Stewart c Breese b Richards 1
J P Crawley run out 25
N Hussain c Adams b Breese 15
G P Thorpe c Samuels b Murphy 89
A J Hollioake c Coley b Powell 40
R C Russell c Coley b Williams 29
A R Caddick lbw b Williams 9
D W Headley not out 18
Extras (b 28, lb 4) 32 Total (for 8 dec) 286
Fall: 1-2 2-55 3-73 4-77 5-139 6-219 7-252 8-286.
Did not bat: A R C Fraser, P C R Tufnell.
Bowling: Powell 24-7-40-2, Richards 19-8-25-1, Williams 33-10-62-2, Breese 24-3-59-1, Murphy 19.3-0-64-1, Adams 1-0-4-0.
Jamaica - First Innings
L V Garrick c Russell b Headley 0
R G Samuels c Russell b Headley 0
W W Hinds b Headley 18
*J C Adams b Tufnell 18
M D Ventura b Caddick 3
G Breese b Caddick 6
L R Williams lbw b Caddick 4
A N Coley c Russell b Caddick 10
B S Murphy not out 14
K Powell not out 0
Extras (b 14, lb 3, nb 18) 35
Total (for 8) 108
Fall: 1-6 2-10 3-39 4-69 5-71 6-75 7-80 8-101.
To bat: O Richards.
Bowling: Caddick 13-4-24-4, Headley 13-4-23-3, Fraser 2-0-7-0, Tufnell 16-4-37-1.
Umpires: S A Bucknor and C Fletcher.Reuse content