Chanderpaul's diligence holds Caribbean hangover at bay

He has been, inevitably, overshadowed by another, more prolific and flamboyant left-hander. But in the 10 years they have spent together in the West Indies team Shivnarine Chanderpaul's value has been no less than Brian Lara's.

He has been, inevitably, overshadowed by another, more prolific and flamboyant left-hander. But in the 10 years they have spent together in the West Indies team Shivnarine Chanderpaul's value has been no less than Brian Lara's.

This is Chanderpaul's 77th Test since he first took guard, against Mike Atherton's England in his native Guyana in 1994, hammering the bail into the crease as a marker, a procedure that has become increasingly fashionable.

He was 19 and so small the pads seemed to reach to his armpits. But his method was simple and his temperament clearly sound. He scored 62 with the aplomb of a veteran.

It was the start of a career in which he has become the most adaptable of West Indies' batsmen, but which has been blighted by injuries and illness of one type or another that have kept him out of 19 Tests.

His first hundred was three years and 37 innings in coming, but it was no reflection on his reliability for his average has seldom dipped below 40. He has made up ground quickly. Yesterday's century was his 11th and, given its context and its composition, his best.

He entered the fray on Friday afternoon after three wickets had fallen for eight runs and the West Indies were tottering on the verge of another of their infamous batting breakdowns.

The situation became critical when umpire Daryl Harper's error accounted for Brian Lara. At 139 for four, replying to 568, the resilience of a team still carrying a hangover from its thumping in the Caribbean a few months earlier was severely tested.

Chanderpaul had been there several times before. The course of the innings - indeed the match and, in the circumstances, even the series - revolved around him. Only Dwayne Bravo, aged 20 and on debut, the wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs, the young all-rounder Omari Banks and the fast bowlers remained.

For almost six and a half hours, until a few scatter-brained tailenders left him high and dry with Twenty20 strokes, he applied himself to the task with unwavering judgement.

It is unlikely that the computers with which the analysts now assess play logged more than a dozen deliveries that genuinely flustered him.

He showed a special liking for the off-side, driving and cutting with certainty for most of his 15 boundaries. Otherwise, he skilfully worked the gaps in the field. It could be described as a typical Chanderpaul innings for it was in the situation to which he is best suited. But, for all the unattractive crabbiness of his style, he is not a one-dimensional batsman.

A couple of his hundreds have been as devastating as any from Lara's bat. He blazed Test cricket's third fastest hundred, off 69 balls, against Australia two years ago. His 109 against South Africa last January came off 170 balls with a six and 20 fours. Incapacitated by a pulled groin muscle, he needed a runner throughout but his work was minimal.

England experienced Chanderpaul's other side in his blazing 84 off 96 balls in the first one-day international in the Caribbean last April. He opened then, as he has often done in the abbreviated game.

Lord's was the occasion for more circumspection. The inspiration his partners gained from him in successive stands of 125, 62 and 72 simply enhanced the value of his innings. The problem for the West Indies now is that he, or someone else, is likely to have to do it all over again second time round.

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'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
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