Cricket: Walsh assault withers resistance

England 127 & 321 West Indies 500-7 dec West Indies win by an innings and 52 runs

WITHIN minutes of Courtney Walsh wrapping up England's tail, Michael Atherton had resigned the England captaincy. The collapse that brought defeat and surrendered the series 3-1 had no bearing on his decision, but the last thing he wanted was to sign off in such sloppy style.

The manner of England's demise after determined batting by Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe had seen them add 168 for the fourth wicket was one that seems to be endemic whenever they play abroad. Given that showers washed out the morning session, too, and that the pitch was dead, the collapse was careless and unwarranted.

With Hussain and Thorpe apparently booked in until the close, the wretched mistake that cost Hussain his wicket came just after tea. It was his sixth Test century and his first against the West Indies. After three frustrating tours here - he broke his hand in the one here nine years ago, and did not get picked for the Test matches last time - it was clearly an emotional moment, and there were feelings of anger as well as joy when he threaded Carl Hooper backward of cover for the all-important run.

Although a rearguard action, the partnership had echoes of the one between these two at Edgbaston last year. Then Hussain scored a double hundred and Thorpe a single when Australia were put to the sword and beaten. No less worthy of merit for being an exercise in damage limitation, the partnership ended in ridiculous circumstances when Thorpe, calling Hussain through for a risky single to midwicket, hesitated before running his partner out.

It was a wasteful end to a stoic partnership that looked watertight ever since it had begunthe previous afternoon. Having virtually given up, the home side were perked up, a condition that intensified when Dinanath Ramnarine skidded one through Mark Ramprakash's defences as he played back. If it was an error of judgement, it was joined by one from Steve Bucknor.

Weariness does not only affect the players and the umpire's decision to give Thorpe not out to Junior Murray's brilliantly anticipated catch, when he clearly touched the ball on to his pad, was a mistake. One, however, that umpire Cyril Mitchley made up for when he gave Jack Russell out leg before to a ball from Walsh whose angles were all wrong.

Thorpe, the run-out never far from his mind, soldiered on, clearly fretful as wickets tumbled at the other end. Dean Headley, his nerves jangling, edged Ramnarine to Murray behind the stumps. Andy Caddick, following a brief period of resistance, became another victim of Walsh, as the fast bowler, who was five shy of equalling Malcolm Marshall's West Indies record of 376 wickets when the innings began, took his second wicket. A third soon followed as Fraser gloved a throat ball meekly to Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the gully. Then Walsh got within a single wicket of Marshall, the last man, Tufnell, fending yet another short ball to Clayton Lambert at short leg as the Antigua Recreation Ground erupted in joy.

Once the morning rain had been mopped up, the day began immediately after lunch. With the new ball due one over after the start Lara, somewhat surprisingly, kept faith with his two spinners. A curious tactic, given that both Walsh and Ambrose had spent the morning with their feet up, it was not entirely out of character for Lara. He did not persist with his folly for long, however, and four overs later the gangling figure of Ambrose had a shiny red new ball in his hand.

Following a loosener, which Hussain cut gleefully for four, Ambrose, partnered at the other end by Franklyn Rose, soon warmed to his task to have both batsmen playing and missing. This was the first wave Hussain and Thorpe had to withstand if England were to have a chance of saving the game. They almost did not hold firm - an outside edge from Thorpe narrowly failed to carry to Lara at slip. But it was not all grim survival and there were runs, too, as Hussain cut Rose and Ambrose, the latter over the slips, to the fence.

Later, Ambrose had the pair ducking as well as he switched tactics. With no grass or damp to exploit, it was back to the intimidatory tactics of old as a variety of rib ticklers and throat balls kept the batsmen on their toes.

With an attacking field, and a pitch close to comatose, it also proved costly and the boundary count increased dramatically compared to the period when the spinners had bowled the previous evening. In the end it was a combination of slow and fast that brought England to their knees.

St John's scoreboard

Final day; West Indies won toss

ENGLAND - First Innings 127 (D Ramnarine 4-29).

WEST INDIES - First Innings 500 for 7 dec (C L Hooper 108no, C B Lambert 104, P A Wallace 92, B C Lara 89).

ENGLAND - Second Innings

(Overnight: 173 for 3)

*M A Atherton lbw b Ambrose 13

60 min, 40 balls, 1 four

A J Stewart c Wallace b Hooper 79

173 min, 132 balls, 9 fours

M A Butcher c Murray b Ambrose 0

8 min, 6 balls

N Hussain run out (Hooper-Murray) 106

381 min, 318 balls, 14 fours

G P Thorpe not out 84

378 min, 322 balls, 5 fours

M R Ramprakash b Ramnarine 0

13 min, 10 balls

R C Russell lbw b Walsh 9

37 min, 39 balls, 1 four

D W Headley c Murray b Ramnarine 1

5 min, 9 balls

A R Caddick c Murray b Walsh 0

28 min, 20 balls

A R C Fraser c Chanderpaul b Walsh 4

4 min, 3 balls, 1 four

P C R Tufnell c Lambert b Walsh 0

8 min, 4 balls

Extras (b6 lb4 w1 nb14) 25

Total (552 min, 147.2 overs) 321

Fall: 1-45 (Atherton) 2-49 (Butcher) 3-127 (Stewart) 4-295 (Hussain) 5-300 (Ramprakash) 6-312 (Russell) 7-313 (Headley) 8-316 (Caddick) 9-320 (Fraser) 10-321 (Tufnell).

Bowling: Walsh 31.2-7-80-4 (nb4) (4-0-12-0, 1-0-3-0, 3-1-5-0, 5-1-17- 0, 5-3-4-0, 7-1-30-0, 4-1-5-1, 2.2-1-4-3); Ambrose 20-5-66-2 (nb7 w1) (6-2-20-0, 4-1-11-2, 1-0-8-0, 8-2-26-0, 1-0-1-0); Rose 11-2-39-0 (nb4) (2-0-6-0, 3-1-5-0, 2-1-10-0, 4-0-18-0); Ramnarine 46-19-70 -2 (nb4) (1- 0-2-0, 1-0-1-0, 18-5-36-0, 4-3-1-0, 22-11-30-2); Hooper 39-18-56-1 (15- 5-25-1, 8-7-4-0, 14-4-27-0, 2-2-0-0).

Progress: Fifth day: Rain delayed start until 12.45pm. New ball taken after 83 overs at 174-3. 200: 323 min, 88.3 overs. 250: 394 min, 102.4 overs. Tea: 275-3 (Hussain 102, Thorpe 61) 114 overs. Rain delayed restart until 3.41pm. 300: 464 min, 125.1 overs. Innings closed 5.42pm.

Stewart's 50: 118 min, 89 balls, 4 fours. Hussain's 50: 165 min, 157 balls, 6 fours. 100: 341 min, 289 balls, 14 fours. Thorpe's 50: 234 min, 185 balls, 3 fours.

Man of the match: D Ramnarine.

Adjudicator: E Lewis.

Umpires: S A Bucknor and C J Mitchley.

TV Replay Umpire: P Whyte.

Match Referee: B N Jarman.

Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
Life and Style
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own