Cricket: Impoverished England receive another pounding: Lewis and Salisbury stand tall on the burning deck as Kenny Benjamin graduates with honours to put West Indies two up in series

England 322 and 190

West Indies 556

West Indies win by innings and 44 runs

ENGLAND left Guyana last night pretty much as they found it - impoverished and run down - and Guyana also said cheerio to England pretty much as it found them: impoverished and run down. The difference is that the Guyanese manage to remain cheerful when things don't work, although it would be asking a bit much to expect Keith Fletcher to break into a song and dance routine at the moment.

The England team manager has now presided over six overseas Test matches and lost the lot. In his 12 games in charge England have won once, drawn once, and been beaten 10 times, five of them by an innings, three by eight wickets, and one by 179 runs. The other one, in Sri Lanka, was by a nail-biting five wickets, and they are doubtless too ashamed to talk about it in Colombo.

However, there was just a time yesterday when those of us gathered for the funeral were half thinking in terms of praise rather than burial. An eighth-wicket stand between Chris Lewis and Ian Salisbury detained the West Indians for almost two hours, but once they were separated the threatened conjuring trick turned into the proverbial pack of cards.

England's last three wickets finally went clatter in the space of 12 deliveries (three balls fewer than in the first innings) and with England still 44 runs from making the West Indies bat again it was done and dusted half an hour before tea. Not surprisingly, there was a fair old dogfight to grab a souvenir stump, but rather more surprising was the fact that one of those involved was England's No 11, Alan Igglesden. If Igglesden is in the market for collecting mementoes of England defeats, he will probably have plenty of future opportunities if he plays, although in fairness he might have been grabbing a stump in order to show the England bowlers exactly what a stump looked like.

England's aim has not so much been deadly, as given rise to suspicions that they have been practising for this series by bowling at a barn door (without making too many dents in it either) and Mike Atherton correctly identified the bowling as the main reason England lost here. 'They, and Brian Lara in particular, scored their runs so fast that it gave them time to bowl us out twice on a pitch that got more difficult as the game went on,' he said.

'We still should have got more of a first-innings total, though, and too many top-order batsmen got out for single-figure scores. We really couldn't afford to lose here, especially as the next Test in Trinidad (starting on Friday) usually offers more in the way of English bowling conditions, but we have just got to show a bit of character and keep our spirits high.'

His opposite number, however, is not sure England have any spirit left in the optic. 'We are not taking them for granted,' Richie Richardson said, 'but we believe they are getting more and more demoralised. We would like to win 5-0.' 'That's definitely not going to happen,' Atherton said, although inwardly he must now be fearing the worst.

If West Indian cricket was more like its politics, England would have more to be optimistic about, but, with less talent at his disposal, Richardson has got his side pulling together in a way that Viv Richards was never able. Lara and Curtly Ambrose were two gigantic opponents here, but Kenny Benjamin has proved to be a far more redoubtable bowler than England can ever have suspected. As was the case with Paul Reiffel last summer, they are an easy snack for the goldfish never mind the piranhas.

Still 115 behind with six wickets remaining, England probably suspected the game was up from the moment they drew back the bedroom curtains and reached for the sponsored sunglasses. Within 10 overs, both overnight batsmen had gone, one in a way that highlighted the unreliability of the pitch, the other in a way that suggested his time in the side may now be up.

The ball from Kenny Benjamin that did for Alec Stewart landed short of a length but cannoned so low into the stumps that the batsman, not for the first time, was jack- knifed as if struck in the box. Graham Thorpe's bails, on the other hand, were removed when he played routinely forward to a more or less routine delivery from Courtney Walsh and missed it.

Jack Russell then completed a game that will not linger fondly in his memory by snicking a ball from Ambrose angled across the left- hander, and it was at this point that Lewis (assisted by a dropped catch at short square leg) and Salisbury took to the air raid shelter.

Lewis, who is still attempting to find out why the Georgetown registrar of births thinks he is 28 rather than 26, certainly played with the maturity of someone two years older, and it took the second new ball for the West Indies to calm whatever anxiety that might have been starting to creep up on them. Neither was it a classic new- ball dismissal, Jimmy Adams taking a blinding catch at short midwicket as Lewis clipped off his legs.

Angus Fraser was then bowled second ball by a shooter, and when Walsh finally rattled through Salisbury's defence after two hours at the crease, it was all over. If Atherton's boyish smile is now beginning to fade, it is not so much because of losing, as the manner of it. The fact that Richardson could make such a cock-up over the toss, and still canter home by an innings, merely confirms England's current status as the doormats of international cricket.

Devon Malcolm yesterday pledged the rest of his first-class career to Derbyshire by signing a new four-year contract. The 31-year-old agreed the deal before flying back to the West Indies after recovering from knee surgery.

(Photograph omitted)

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London